Student accommodation shortage? There are even vacant rooms now

Student accommodation shortage? There are even vacant rooms now

About eighty “container houses” remained vacant on the Sorbonnelaan alone

01-03-2023 · Nieuws

MAASTRICHT. Last September, there were huge problems on the student accommodation market. But recently, at the beginning of February, another time when students check in, about eighty “container houses” remained vacant on the Sorbonnelaan alone. The outlook for the 2023/2024 academic year is good too. 

September 2022 did not become a repeat of September 2021: the first (and so far only) year that Maastricht suffered from a severe shortage of student accommodation. Maurice Evers, head of Maastricht Housing, mentioned a number of reasons during a meeting of the operational management committee of the University Council just before Carnival. “At the beginning of 2022, we again feared having a shortage and we were therefore very strict in our communication: if you don’t have a room, don’t come to Maastricht.” How many prospective students therefore looked for a place elsewhere, is unknown.

Tiny houses in Randwyck Photo: Joey Roberts

UM reckoned on a growth of 6 per cent, and thought that roughly a thousand extra rooms would be needed.  “Six hundred additional student rooms were created in Randwyck, as well as 160 in the Sittard area.” All in all, this does not add up to a thousand, but those did not turn out to be necessary because the university did not grow by 6 per cent, but only welcomed one per cent of new students.  

Limburglaan

For the following academic year, Evers does not expect any major problems either, he said to the University Council. “There are about seven hundred new rooms at the Einstein campus and the Limburglaan (part of the 2,000 additional ones planned for the coming years). The city states that there will be some delay, but it is not clear how long this delay will be. We think that we can have a few hundred ready by September, the rest will follow later in the Autumn.”

So, that could cause problems, the Council committee reckoned. “We do not foresee a large growth in September,” vice president Nick Bos stated. “In that case, this would be sufficient.”

Temporary shortage

Also, if there is a shortage, it will be a temporary one, Bos emphasised. We would be talking about having to bridge one or two months. “Could that be fixed by using hotels,” the committee wondered. “Or a temporary hotel boat on the Maas?” Bos thought this an interesting option. He then pointed out that there was a lot of talk about housing problems, while Maastricht only had a shortage of accommodation in the last academic year. Evers: “As far as the delay in September 2023 is concerned, that was a minor and brief problem.” The city is looking into whether the Mammoet flat and the Poortgebouw in the Pottenberg area, could serve as a temporary solution, should there be a need.

Randwyck

Subsequently, the plan for the area surrounding the tiny houses (container homes) in Randwyck was brought up. Plans are currently being made with parties such as the city and the hospital. One thing is certain, Evers said: the parking lot will disappear at some stage. Otherwise, there are a lot of wishes: “UM Sports wants the possibility to provide outdoor sports facilities, the University Library wants extra study spaces.” UM and developer SHM are going to invest one million euro in the development of the area immediately around the tiny houses this year.

Author: Riki Janssen

Photo: Observant

Categories: News, news_top
Tags: tiny houses,shortage, student rooms,instagram

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