Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes/ Former Bonnefantencollege
MAASTRICHT. The city of Maastricht reckons there will be enough rooms for students. This is mainly because of the 88 additional rooms in Annadal and 257 new studios in the former Bonnefantencollege. The permit applications for another 125 temporary accommodations in a former nursing home and empty office buildings are still being dealt with.
Four years ago, there were already plans to renovate the Bonnefantencollege on the Tongerseweg and turn it into a student complex. As of 1 September, the majority of the 257 studios will be rented, says Robin Cremers, manager of student housing XIOR. Students with Dutch nationality may only live there for a maximum of six months, international students for a maximum of one year. “The studios can only be rented out for short stays. The difference in the renting period has to do with fiscal reasons.” The rent varies from 500 to 700 euro per month. This is excluding the cost of Internet, gas, water and electricity.
For a number of months, student housing company XIOR has been making an advance in Dutch and Belgian university cities. They have purchased the entire Annadal premises in Maastricht. In addition to the former Bonnefantencollege, the company has almost 150 studios in Carré, also on the Tongerseweg.
The city of Maastricht expects to have sufficient student accommodation in the new academic year. In addition to the studios in the Bonnefantencollege and 88 new rooms (between 300 and 465 euro per month) in Annadal, another 120 rooms or apartments will be added in the private sector. That number has been determined by the city as an annual maximum for the city as a whole.
“The total number of students who have actually started, is usually not known to the university until October. Only then will we know if what we expected, was what actually happened,” a spokesperson stated.
In 2017 the situation was quite urgent in Maastricht. The number of newcomers to Maastricht University appeared to be double what was normal. That was the reason why in November and December of that year there were still students unable to find affordable housing. The UM sounded the alarm with the city council. That summer, action was taken, resulting in three hundred additional student rooms in Annadal.
The interim solution that the city council wanted in order to get ahead of potential - in the form of temporary (student) accommodation for a maximum of ten years - still has to be realised. Three private parties applied to the city for permits in spring; these applications are still being processed. This concerns the rezoning of vacant office buildings on the Franciscus Romanusweg 2 and the Gebroeders Hermansstraat 2. There will be studios in the former nursing home Molenhof on the Sint Pieterstraat.
The city council will discuss the new long-term plans for student housing, the so-called ‘accommodation programming 2019-2024’ next week. This will include a total increase of 2,900 ‘accommodation units’ for students over the next six years. That is one and a half times the original forecasts. The focus is on large-scale campus type locations, preferably in Randwyck.