Student - March 5, 2009

CHALETS FOR EMERGENCY ACCOMMODATION

De Wielerbaan campsite in Wageningen has chalets to rent. At least twenty of them, with space to house three to six students. This would solve the student accommodation shortage at one blow, says the WSO. But Wageningen UR will not be making use of this option to house international students. They will be staying in the holiday park in Hoenderloo.

Depending on their finances and their privacy needs, three to six students can fit into the fifty square metre large bungalows at De Wielerbaan campsite.
The chalets at De Wielerbaan have three bedrooms with two beds apiece. Three to six students could stay in each house, depending on whether they want single or shared rooms. This would mean that 65 to 125 students could be housed, solving the housing emergency in Wageningen at one blow, according to André Luijten of the accommodation desk of the Wageningen Student Organization (WSO).

The campsite itself knocked at the door of WSO’s accommodation desk a few weeks ago with this idea. But the Wielerbaan’s chalets have not yet been included in the accommodation on offer, partly because the exact price and the length of the tenancy is not yet clear. But above all because the organization thinks that Wageningen University should offer these chalets to international students instead of the housing at the holiday park in Hoenderloo, where about thirty overseas students are currently staying. They stay there five weeks, on average, before getting a room in Wageningen. ‘This is a better option than Hoenderloo’, thinks André. The Wielerbaan is about ten minutes from the Forum by bike.

According to the Wielerbaan’s estate agent, Peter de Groot, the municipal council, the university and other parties are interested in the bungalows. He hopes to be able to ‘get down to serious business’ with one of these parties soon. But the university sees no advantage in it, says spokesman Simon Vink. ‘Wageningen UR has a good relationship with Landal Green Parks. The facilities are good and thanks to a long-term contract it is affordable. The travelling time is less advantageous, but it’s not an insuperable problem.’ Moreover, Landal has several locations, so that more people could be put up if necessary, Vink emphasized. ‘So we are satisfied. But if the estate agent wants to rent the bungalows to students himself or via the WSO, we certainly applaud that.’

The WSO is thinking of negotiating with the agent. ‘This is a great opportunity for students. The accommodation shortage in Wageningen has simply grown enormously’, says André.

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