An increasing number of students in Groningen are opting to live at home rather than seeking accommodation in the city. According to data from the National Student Housing Monitor, 43 percent of students in Groningen choose to reside with their families.
The National Student Housing Monitor attributes the trend to a significant shortage of student housing and the introduction of the student loan system in 2015. The Groningen Student Union (GSb) has also been hearing more accounts of students making the choice to stay with their parents.
“It appears to be getting worse,” says GSb spokesperson Ken Hesselink. “The student population is growing, but the housing in the city can’t keep up. The student covenant states that the municipality and the university aim to build 1,000 to 1,500 homes at Zernike, but no concrete action has been taken yet.”
In a survey conducted by RTV Noord, students provided various reasons for choosing to stay at home. Convenience, cost considerations, and the desire to test their studies before committing to independent living were among the factors mentioned.
One student explained, “If everything were more affordable, living on my own might have been an option. But as it stands, it seems relatively expensive for what you get.”
Point system pushes rents up
The GSb is also advocating for a revision of the national point-based rental system for housing. Under this system, a residence is assigned points for its positive attributes, with higher points allowing landlords to charge higher rents. “Abolishing this system could also help drive down rental prices,” Hesselink says.
The percentage of students living at home in Groningen is lower than the national average, where the majority of students choose to stay with their families.
The student housing situation in Groningen remains a pressing issue, and students and advocacy groups continue to call for effective measures to address the housing shortage and make independent living a more viable option for students in the city.