Room shortage is sky-high, SSH& wants two people in one room

31 Aug 2022

Quickly finding a room in Nijmegen is a difficult task. The number of students who have signed up at student housing provider SSH& has doubled in a year’s time: around 6000 students are on the waiting list. SSH& is considering unorthodox measurements.

Because of the enormous pressure on the student housing market, SSH& is considering a striking, temporary measurement: placing two tenants in the same room.
They want to start with international students. ‘This needs to be considered wisely; it has an influence on privacy’, says an SSH& spokesperson. ‘We are taking it seriously and are in talks with our tenant organisation SPH and the educational institutions. Internally, we are looking at which rooms or apartments are suitable. After that, we will do further research.’

Covid crisis

Last year, between January and July, a mere 3000 students signed up for the housing provider. That number is now 6000. 3500 of which are students, others are older. The last year before covid, 2019, not even 4800 students registered with SSH& by October.

‘Many students took a gap year or lived at home longer during covid’

At the same time, only 297 SSH& student rooms became vacant because students left. The SSH& calls for everyone to quickly build a social network and find a room via private individuals.

Student life

Because of the need, SSH& also wants to ‘deal creatively with its own property’ in other ways. ‘We are thinking of converting unused spaces in student complexes into rooms. Splitting large rooms in two is also an option.’

A logical explanation for the high demand for rooms is the end of the covid rules. Many students took a gap year during covid and are now starting their studies. Or they lived longer at their parents’ home’, says the spokesperson. ‘Now they want to experience student life.’

The risen number of international students also explains the need. Due to covid restrictions, there barely were internationals present in the last two years. Because of the room shortage, a hundred foreign students recently received an email from Radboud University asking them not to come and study in Nijmegen.

6600 rooms

The student housing provider owns 35 percent of the room market in Nijmegen, good for 6600 rooms and apartments. At least 1000 will be added by 2030. Two hundred have already been built.
The housing provider is talking to the municipality about new student housing around the stations, the city centre and the campus.

In the coming years, forty student houses will be built in the residential tower near the Hezelpoort. Temporary rooms are also needed: eighty in the Winkelsteeg, at least a hundred on campus.

Furthermore, despite much criticism from the neighbourhood, there are plans for student rooms at the GGD location on the Groenewoudseweg. Possibly, there will also be a student complex in combination with rental houses for former students in the northern part of Nijmegen.

This article by Mitchel Suijkerbuijk was previously published in De Gelderlander
Translated by Jan Scholten

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