The intake of 1550 new students means there is a huge demand again for rooms in Wageningen. The restart of the Housing Desk has helped relieve some of the pressure.
It is very busy at the Pulse Housing Desk. At the moment, private individuals with a room on offer can expect a response from at least twenty students in search of accommodation. The Desk is getting around seven new rooms a day at the moment. 'They get taken immediately', says Desk worker André Luiten.
It looked at one point as if the Housing Desk was facing its final season. There was a threat to the continued existence of the main agency for private accommodation in Wageningen as the student union Pulse, which ran the Desk, has folded. However, mid-August it became clear that the Housing Desk would be able to restart as an independent foundation. Pulse chairperson Romy Appelman is pleased. 'It provides a well-run service for which there is a lot of demand.'
There is indeed a huge demand for rooms this year too, after another record intake with 1550 new students in Wageningen. But the supply is growing too. Increasing numbers of private individuals in Wageningen and Ede are offering student rooms, in part in response to campaigns by the Housing Desk. In addition, sixty temporary rooms have been created next to the Junushoff Theatre. Luiten estimates that the number of students without a room is about the same as last year.
Buying a flat
Resource carried out a small poll of a dozen AID groups during the introductory days. It showed that around half of the freshers are still looking for a room. Many students sublet a room temporarily to bridge the period without proper accommodation. Very few students have been able to get a room through Idealis, the student accommodation provider. One student who did manage, registered with Idealis at the start of the year as soon as registration opened for first years.
Other students got lucky - they were invited to an interview for a place in a student house and were accepted straight away. Whatever the situation, hardly anyone opts to live with their parents and commute. Four first years tell us they are even considering buying a flat together.
What tips does the Housing Desk have for people looking for accommodation? 'If you see something on offer, you need to phone immediately', says Luiten. 'But you need to be patient too. For example, get a place at the Wageningen campsite and make contacts within your AID group - you might find you get a room through your network.'