MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University has reopened discussions about container accommodation in Randwyck. This time it doesn't concern second-hand units from Amsterdam, but newly built sea containers by social enterprise Rendiz from Limburg.
Container accommodation was discussed earlier this year as a quick solution for the shortage of affordable student housing in Maastricht, but because of feasibility reasons the university preferred the renovation of the former nurses apartment building on the Annadal complex. Since 1 September, more than two hundred students have moved in there. To the great dissatisfaction of people living in the neighbourhood. In a letter to the city council, they object to the expansion of Annadal. “In the past few years, Brouwersweg 100 has proved incapable of limiting the noise caused by students during the evening and night (…)”. They want to know whether the decision to house more students at this location has been taken with due care.
In the meantime, the UM is discussing the option of container accommodation in Randwyck because it expects a slight growth in student numbers (approximately 4 per cent) next year and it is unclear whether the private housing market and the housing corporations can provide sufficient accommodation. Nick Bos, vice chairman of the Executive Board, reported this in a University Council committee meeting last week. The university is thinking about the wasteland on the Sorbonnelaan in Randwyck, adjacent to child care centre MIK, for the two hundred containers. The application for permits still needs to be started “and we have to look at the cost,” says Bos. The accommodation will consist of independent units that could remain there for up to ten years; students would be eligible for rent rebates.
Answering a question from a council member if a permanent solution would not be better, Bos said: “We haven't taken that turn yet. It is imaginable that by that time the city council would use office buildings for student housing. If that would be the case, we wouldn't need to invest. We don't want to become a real estate agency.”