MAASTRICHT. The housing problem of foreign students in Maastricht will be discussed with the city council. Managing director of Student & Staff Housing, Maurice Evers, said so after a meeting with Hungarian student Ilona Kraft, one of the initiators of the silent protest action #MaastrichtHousingCrisis last Wednesday. With this protest, a handful of homeless foreign students drew attention to the lack of decent rooms. The university “doesn’t take responsibility,” they wrote on their Facebook page.
With 270 rooms in the new Student Hotel, eighty extra on the regular market and forty extra in the Guesthouse, there should be a balance between supply and demand, says Evers. However, he does take the problem of temporary scarcity, which occurs especially at the end of August and the beginning of September, serious. During the meeting with Kraft “we thought about possible solutions for temporary scarcity, including a budget hotel, flexible accommodation (temporary housing), or expanding the Guesthouse. I will present these options when I speak with the city council and the UM.”
Italian student of Psychology and Neuroscience Alberto Lugli, also involved in #MaastrichtHousingCrisis, has meanwhile found a room. A temporary solution, “it's very far in Belgium and I don’t have a legal contract again”. He is planning on sending a letter to his own university, explaining the situation and warning future students about what might be waiting for them if they choose to come to Maastricht.
The Dutch National Union of Students (LSVB) also sounded a nationwide alarm last week about hundreds of homeless foreign students. All kinds of distressing reports from students forced to sleep in hostels, on campsites or even in cars, came in via Facebook and LSVB's Housing Hotline. Student union LSVB is wondering why institutes continue to actively recruit if they cannot help students find a room. LSVB feels that city councils, universities and housing corporations should work together better in overcoming the shortage of student accommodation.