MAASTRICHT. Maastricht boasts a number of large extra student complexes since this summer. Former offices on the Bassin, the Hertogsingel and on the Dokter Nevenstraat in Scharn have been completely stripped and renovated. In total, more than three hundred independent studios were added. The letting agents are not complaining about lack of occupancy. “Everything was gone within five weeks.” In Randwyck, where prefabricated ‘container homes’ arrived at premises of Maastricht University in June, things are progressing a little slower.
At the beginning of this week, Maastricht University shared the new provisional registration figures: the student population has grown to almost 20 thousand students (in 2019 the counter stood at about 19 thousand). And despite the largely online education, they are coming to Maastricht in droves. Whoever offers a room for rent on the popular Facebook page Rooms/Kamer/Zimmer is sure to get twenty reactions from seekers within a short space of time. In many new student complexes, the studios went like hot cakes.
All 197 studios by Bassin Student Housing on the inland harbour and H83 (Hertogsingel) have been rented out, the website says in large letters. Both buildings are from the same commercial party: Mulleners Vastgoed. Students pay 530 euro rent.
In the Wauwhaus on the Dokter Nevenstraat, a renovated office building close to the Kennedy bridge, all 127 beds are also occupied. It went very quickly, “everything was rented within five weeks,” says Tom Kissels from Huizen Beheer Maastricht, “and that without actual viewings”. All the marketing was done online, mainly through social media. Seventy-eight foreign students arrived there, mainly Belgians and Germans, but also Italian and Spanish students. Besides furnished studios for a single person, the Wauwhaus also has a few apartments for groups of two or four people. The rent for a single-person studio is about 700 euro.
XIOR, a large Belgian student housing company with roughly 1,300 studios and rooms in Maastricht (including the large complexes Carré and the former Bonnefantencollege on the Tongerseweg), already rented the last apartments in the renovated Bonnefantencollege last December. By now, their ‘portfolio’ has also been filled to a large extent, head office stated.
In Randwyck, the area where the city of Maastricht is envisioning large-scale student housing, things are not moving so quickly. Of the 252 rooms that were built and furnished this summer on the grounds of the UM’s former sports hall “a dozen or so rooms” have indeed been rented, but there are still a “sufficient number available”, manufacturer C3Living reported. The cabins – which were built in the factory in Panningen and transported to Maastricht – have been piled three-high. The basic rent is 427 euro per month. Another 200 euro is added for service charges, soft- and other furnishing costs and a maintenance subscription.
For providers focusing on exchange students – with contracts for a number of months up to a year – the picture is not so rosy. Students often aren’t coming because of the COVID-19 measures. For this reason, about 30 per cent of the accommodation in Maastricht University’s Guesthouse, which provides primarily for short-stay groups, is empty.
Wendy Degens, Yuri Meesen
Student Accommodation city
Maastricht was voted the best Student Accommodation City of 2019 by the National Student Union (LSVb) in July. The prize is awarded annually to the city that sets itself apart facilitating student rooms. “Maastricht excelled this year with its powerful dissemination of information in English, which helps students who are searching for a room,” LSVb wrote in a press release. They referred to the website www.mymaastricht.nl. In addition, projects such as Match Maastricht (you pay less rent in exchange for helping out in the local community) and the ‘Keurmerk Prettig Wonen’ certification are regarded as examples of best practices. Buildings are given this certification when they meet various requirements, such as fire safety, anti-burglary measures and a contact point/person in case of disturbance in the neighbourhood.
A pilot started this summer in Maastricht: Huurteam Zuid-Limburg (Rental Team South Limburg). Maastricht University, the city and Economische Samenwerking Zuid-Limburg are financing the project for sixteen months.
The Housing Helpdesk, from which the Rental Team has sprung and which worked from the UM’s Student Services Centre, has existed for five years. With the extra subsidy, the Rental Team will extend its activities: in addition to students who need help and advice on legal ‘rental issues’ (deposits that are not repaid, disputes about service costs and rent prices) other occupants of council housing in the region are also welcome.
For more information: huurteam-zuidlimburg.nl