Photographer:Fotograaf: Flickr.com/ Stephanie Kilgast
87 streets reached quota
Last year, the city council ‘locked down’ 71 streets, meaning that in those areas the number of student rooms could not be increased. This week, another sixteen streets have been added to the list. This now concerns a total of 6 per cent of all Maastricht streets.
The reason for this was not because of complaints from residents, as several media reported earlier, says Fred Bunk, accommodation policy advisor for the Maastricht city council. The sixteen streets have been added after the annual count. “That is regular policy.” More students live there than the so-called street quota (maximum percentages) allows. In areas around the city centre, no more than 20 per cent of the houses may be inhabited by students. For the outskirts, such as Heer and Limmel, this is 10 per cent. There is no maximum for the city centre itself.
Although most of the 87 streets are at or just above the standard, including the Akersteenweg in Heer, Bloemenweg in Heugemerveld, and Joseph Hollmanstraat in Brusselsepoort, a number of streets exceed the limit considerably. Orleansplein in Brusselsepoort scores 33 per cent (where 20 per cent is the limit). On the Touwslagersdreef in Belfort, 29 per cent of the houses is occupied by students, while the maximum is 10 per cent. The Frans van de Laarstraat in Caberg reaches a high of 100 per cent, but there are only two houses in that street. Filled with students.
In the summer of 2015, the city council introduced its policy for ‘splitting and converting’ houses into rooms and apartments. In the following years, measures have been added and tightened - the street quota being one of them – in order to curb the accumulation of student houses in popular neighbourhoods. It was an ardent wish from residents in areas such as Limmel and Brusselsepoort, where the balance between ‘ordinary Maastricht people’ and students is completely out of proportion, resulting in all kinds of irritation and experienced nuisance.
The decision to ‘lock down’ sixteen additional streets comes at a time when Maastricht University, the association of landlords VVWM (Vereniging Verhuurders Woonruimtes Maastricht), the Maastricht Student Council, and political parties have voiced their concerns about the shortage of affordable student rooms. Just before Christmas, the UM sent a letter to the city council in which it calls upon the politicians to think about solutions, especially because the UM is again expecting more students in August.
According to Fred Bunk, the city council shares the concerns about affordable accommodation. “We are discussing solutions with the university, probably by making more rooms available in the cheaper segment before the start of the next academic year. Large-scale locations outside residential areas are preferred.”
Read more about the concerns of Maastricht University, the association of landlords VVWM (Vereniging Verhuurders Woonruimtes Maastricht), the Maastricht Student Council, and political parties about the shortage of affordable student rooms