Nieuws - 15 september 2011

‘Room shortage bigger than last year'

The shortage of student accommodation in the Netherlands is getting out of hand. According to the National Union of Students (LSVb), there is a shortfall of 30,000 student rooms. But in Wageningen things are moving in the right directions, says the LSVb.

New container rooms on the Haarweg
The students' union asked for figures from the municipal council and the student housing providers. These figures show that a shortfall of 600 rooms will persist in Wageningen up until 2015. The average waiting time for a room in shared accommodation from student housing provider Idealis can be up to 14 months. ‘The shortage is probably worse than these figures suggest', says chair Pascal ten Have, ‘because they do not cover the private market.'
According to the LSVb, Idealis will be creating 1,000 new housing units in the next few years. Corina van Dijk of Idealis says there are concrete plans for 700 rooms, including 245 at the Rijnsteeg and 95 at Kortenoord. The housing provider is also planning to rent 300 rooms on the Zandlaan in Ede, while the university is providing 300 more rooms: 153 on the Haarweg, 33 at the Stadsbrink and 100 at an ex-military barracks in Ede. In the short term, the university wants to create another 100 extra temporary rooms in order to prevent an anticipated shortage of rooms for foreign students.
Right direction
‘Things are going in the right direction in Wageningen', notes Ten Have. ‘It went wrong for a few years due to inappropriate policies, but Idealis is responding a lot more adequately to the growing student numbers nowadays. Of course, they have had a lot of bad publicity, and Wageningen was used in other university towns as an example of how things could always be worse. There were students here staying on a campsite in the middle of winter. The council, Idealis and the university don't want that again.'
The situation in other student towns is considerably worse. In Amsterdam there will be a shortfall of 9,000 rooms until 2015. In Utrecht the shortfall is 6,700.