Tuesday 21 March 2023

Student housing action plan promises 60,000 homes by 2030

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The government has launched a student housing action plan aimed at providing 60,000 affordable student homes between 2022 and 2030.

The plan, presented on Thursday and put together with local councils, housing associations, private investors and student organisations, will kick off with the accelerated construction of 37,000 emergency ‘flexwoningen’, or pre-fabricated homes, which should be ready by 2024.

Figures from student housing expert centre Kences suggest that some 27,000 more students are looking for accommodation than were house-hunting last year. The total is expected to reach 44,800 by 2030.

The plan will also give universities and colleges more leeway in handling the influx of international students. Kences claims 95% of the current lack of student housing is down to the large number of international students in the Netherlands looking for accommodation.

Universities are not allowed to refuse international students by law, although the university of Amsterdam has announced it will be limiting the number of foreign students for some subjects next year on an experimental basis.

Education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf said the problem is acute and needs to be tackled urgently. ‘Students need a place that is their own and where they have the time and space to find out who they are and what they want to do with their lives. Every student deserves a place like that,’ he said.

The plan also proposes measures to protect international students from discrimination and extortionate rents demanded by some landlords.

Separately, the government has announced it is ordering 2,000 pre-fabricated homes to help reduce costs for councils.

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