Photographer:Fotograaf: Flickr.com/ Nan Palmero
No container accommodation after all
MAASTRICHT. There will be 329 temporary student rooms realised at the Annadal complex on the Brouwersweg. This is to prevent students from still searching for decent and affordable accommodation weeks after their studies have started, as happened last year. With the choice falling on Annadal , the alternative - container units in Randwyck - has been scrapped. The latter plan turned out to be unfeasible.
Maastricht University raised the alarm with the city council last December about the shortage of affordable student accommodation. They hoped to be able to provide temporary student housing no later than August 2018. Two options were discussed. The first was to expand the Annadal Campus using buildings that already housed students through Guesthouse, plus additional rooms in buildings on the same premises that are scheduled to be demolished. The second was to erect container units along the Oeslingerbaan in Randwyck. The quicker the better, said Nick Bos, vice president of the Executive Board and chairman of the Maastricht Student Housing Foundation, which presented the plans to the city council in February. It quickly became clear that Randwyck did not meet the zoning plan and an accelerated procedure was unfeasible. Annadal looked more realistic.
In a letter to the city council dated 30 April, the alderman responsible Gert-Jan Krabbendam explained that permits for 111 units had already been applied for. An application for another 218 rooms will follow soon. As far as support from the neighbourhood is concerned, Nick Bos didn't seem too worried, as he explained during an information evening for the city council in February. “We already have students living at Annadal and as far as I know, things are running smoothly there. I think the impact will be minor there.”
The rooms will be available to the UM for a maximum of ten years and the aim is to have at least 250 student rooms available by August. According to Maurice Evers, head of Student & Staff Housing at the UM, bachelor's and master's students are welcome, both from the Netherlands and abroad. “But the concept of a fully furnished and facilitated living unit appeals in particular to foreign students, who often don't have the opportunity to attend viewings, open evenings, et cetera in Maastricht.” The Guesthouse will take on the rental of the 224 units (on top of the existing seven hundred). The other rooms will be realised by order of SSH Student Housing from Utrecht, which will also be responsible for renting them out.
Although there will not be any container units in Randwyck, the UM would still like to look into temporary student accommodation in that area. Evers: “Should this be necessary in the future, we would like to be able to create facilities quickly.” Changing the zoning plan could already be completed, after which ‘only’ a brief environmental permit would need to be applied for.