The Wageningen housing association no longer provides housing for students, in a new ruling that came into force on 1 January. Students may still register with the association but they will no longer be offered housing designated for young people in employment. An unfair ruling, says VeSte. The student party is considering possible courses of action.
As of 2011, the housing association allocates 20 percent of its housing by lottery (compared with 8 percent before). How long you have been on the waiting list (generally at least 4-5 years) is no longer the deciding factor and the lottery is done with registration numbers. 'This was meant to help starters,' says Marion Gorlach, head of Rentals and Sales. These are young people who are not in higher education but who want to leave their parental homes. 'But increasingly we were seeing students,' says Gorlach. 'Then we thought, this is crazy. We are not a student housing provider.'
Student party VeSte has expressed annoyance at the ruling. 'Not fair,' is the opinion of spokesperson Anneriek Simons. In her view it is not fair 'just to exclude all students'. She understands that the housing market is not kind to starters, but 'there are not enough rooms for all the students either.'
Idealis has enough on offer for students, retorts Gorlach, pointing to the (temporarily) empty units in Ede. 'We think we are within our rights,' she adds. It is stated several times in the business plan that the association is not intended to cater for students.
'We think it was bad that the ruling was not clearly communicated,' complains Simons. Most students who have registered with the housing association do not know that they don't stand a chance. The ruling is stated on the website and on housing adverts, however. As well as being clearly stated in all brochures, adds Gorlach. 'And we never communicated to students that we would offer them housing in the first place.'
The housing association lets about 350 houses a year. A tally in 2012 revealed that about 7 percent of these houses went to students. The association decided to monitor this. Gorlach estimates that a total of about 60 to 65 houses are let to students. These sitting tenants can stay put.