Organisation - August 26, 2010

Defence blocks stopgap student housing

Wageningen entrepreneur Jaap Veenendaal had organized for two barracks on army premises in Ede to be used as stopgap housing for two hundred Wageningen students. But on 9 August he got a telephone call from The Hague informing him the deal was off.

On 1 January 2011 the municipality of Ede is to buy three lots of barracks from the Ministry of Defence. Ede has planned a housing project here, but that may take years. In the meantime the barracks will be used for short-term lets. Ede has farmed out the management to RVOB, the Finance Ministry's real estate and development corporation. Klaas Klinkert of the RVOB is happy to rent out some of the barracks to the university or to a student housing corporation, he says.
Up till 1 January, however, the Ministry of Defence remains in charge of management. Its exit strategy states that as from 1 September no overnight occupancy is permitted on the premises of the barracks, the ministry told Jaap Veenendaal, director of hotel Hof van Gelderland.
'You're walking into bureaucratic brick walls', he complains. He has, however, managed to buy beds and cupboards from the ministry for emergency housing for foreign students in Wageningen.

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