Stop blocking students from living in city centers: Student assoc.

Stop blocking students from living in city centers: Student assoc.

The association for student associations LKvV wrote a letter to Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs, demanding that she make sure there is enough housing for students in the centers of the student cities. “In all student cities in the Netherlands, the student population is the beating heart of the city. But municipalities are driving students out of the city by forcing them to look for housing outside the city center,” the association said.

According to the LKvV, the government created the National Student Housing Action Plan to reduce the shortage of student housing. As each city is different, space was left for customization by the municipality. But in practice, this means that municipalities are making it harder and harder to create student housing in city centers under the motto of “livability”, the LKvV said.

Last year Leiden made it more difficult to convert an independent home into a shared home, removing the possibility to create more student housing, LKvV said. Only 20 percent of housing in the center may now be inhabited by two or more students. Eindhoven has the “30 meter rule”, which says that a home cannot be split up for room rental if a similar rental property is within 30 meters. “Hundreds of students have already been forced out of their homes.”

Amsterdam also wants to prevent the division of houses into rooms. Rotterdam wants to stop granting permits to student homes in neighborhoods for a year. “Similar policies are also being drawn up in the other municipalities in order to supposedly increase the ‘livability’,” the association said.

“We, the advocate for 48 student associations and more than 44 thousand students, demand that students must not lose the direct bond with their city and we want students to be treated like all other inner-city residents,” the LKvV said in its letter to Ollongren. “We call for student houses in the city center to be preserved and expanded, so that the city remains undivided. Students must not become passersby or foreign nationals in their own student city, but must live in the city with the local fishmonger and the bakery around the corner.”