SSH& will allocate rooms through a lottery
Starting next academic year, the SSH& will decide who gets a room or a studio through a lottery. The existing waiting time system disappears. Students who have built up over four years of waiting time or have travel urgency, fall under an exception rule.
Imagine being a fourth year student with three and a half year waiting time at SSH&. You think that next year, finally, you can get a living space in the Gouverneur complex, but then you hear you have to engage in a lottery with people who just started renting at SSH& . This is exactly what is going to happen, according to new rules announced by the housing organisation yesterday.
Starting July 1 next year, everybody has the same chances of getting a room at SSH&. Every week, the student housing company will announce the available housing online, and students can apply for them. A lottery will subsequently determine who gets the rooms.
The SSH& hopes that the housing allocation system can be loosened by this, says director Vincent Buitenhuis on the phone. ‘There is still more demand than supply. Sometimes, people have to be registered for years before they are eligible for a room at the Platolaan or Gouverneur. Then, they can only live there for a short time, because they will already be done with their studies.’ Because of the long waiting times, students also stay in their first SSH& room longer, for example at Hoogeveldt. This does not help the flow.
On top of that, the old allocation system does fit the students’ needs less and less, Buitenhuis continues. They move into a room later, do their master programme in a different city, or might go abroad for a while. Some students also don’t know that they will study in Nijmegen until the last moment. Buitenhuis: ‘When you apply in September, you are not eligible for a room during the first year of your studies. Not even when you have travel urgency.’
‘Sometimes, people have to be registered for years before they are eligible for a room at the Platolaan or Gouverneur’
In the new system, students do not have to apply to SSH& beforehand, they can engage in the lottery for free. The only condition is that they can show proof of admission to a university or university of applied sciences. They only have to register at the SSH& when they a room is awarded to them.
There will be a difference between students who already rent housing at SSH& and those who do not. The first group can both apply for rooms and for more independent housing. The second group cannot apply for independent housing, except when it is located in Arnhem.
Future first years’ students will no longer be able to register already after 1 November in the previous year to build up waiting time. ‘That is why we announce the new measure now,’ says Buitenhuis. An exception rule for students with travel urgency will remain in place. They are prioritised for rooms available at Vossenveld.
For students who have built up a long waiting time, SSH& has a transition arrangement. If you have been on the waiting list for at least four years in October 2019, you can also engage in the lottery for independent housing between July 2020 and July 2021, even if you are not renting a room at SSH& already.
In the fall of next year, the SSH& will evaluate the new rules. It is possible that by then, the company will make some small changes to the system.
Buitenhuis stresses that this decision has not been made lightly. ‘We have analysed the bottlenecks in the current system thoroughly. After that, we have discussed the new plans with the university and the HAN, the municipalities and the tenants organisation. They all support our plans.’
Finally, he also states that the SSH& will create extra housing in the foreseeable future. ‘For example, short stay rooms, that will be partially available for regular students.’ The company is also building rooms in the apartment complex Boeckstaetehof and creating new living units on campus.