The municipality of Groningen has issued a statement informing prospective students about a housing shortage in the city and telling them not to come if they haven’t already secured a room by August 1.
“Every year in August international students pour into Groningen to attend the Hanze University of Applied Sciences or the University of Groningen,” the statement reads. “Make sure you have found a room before August 1 if you are going to study in Groningen. If you decide to come to Groningen without a room, then you will most likely have to stay in hotels or hostels for a long period of time, provided there are places available there. This may result in considerable costs, inconvenience and stress. Unless you have a room lined up by August 1, we advise you not to travel to Groningen.”
Groningen officials make it abundantly clear that arranging housing is the students’ responsibility and advise they start their search as soon as possible, for instance, via the Student Housing Foundation, but also on the private housing market. “New students and their parents can find more information about the room offer via the athomeingroningen.com website,” the municipality says.
Many students say this is nice in theory but in practice real estate agents and landlords almost never work with clients virtually. In most cases, you have to be physically in the country to get the process started.
The student housing market in Groningen gets particularly busy during the peak months. In August and September the stock of available rooms will be especially limited, the municipality warns. “Based on forecasts by the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences for the 2022-2023 academic year and the experiences of recent years, the capacity for the reception during the peak period is estimated at approximately 260 beds. Due to the tight market and exceptional circumstances, it is not yet clear this number can be fully achieved,” the city officials says.
The housing shortage in Groningen is currently estimated at approximately 7,400 homes, and by 2025, the shortfall is projected to rise to 10,000 units. What was once a problem is now increasingly seen as a full-blown crisis that affects not just students, but also young families and seniors.