Not to sound like a broken record, but the housing market in Groningen really is not working
More than 200 international students have already registered for emergency shelter through the Groningen organisation Shelter Our Students (S.O.S.). The organisation, founded by a number of left-wing and communitarian organisations in the city, matches homeless students with temporary accomodation in people’s spare rooms.
According to the organisation, there is a huge shortage of emergency beds. “At the time of speaking, we have seven times as many registrations as available beds.”, GIC.nl reports.
Not our responsibility
Each year, the University of Groningen and Hanzehogeschool recruit more (International) students, with very little regard for where they might live. The RUG in particular is guilty of mis-representing the housing situation in the city; its website only saying that ‘it can be quite a challenge’ finding housing ‘in any Dutch student city’.
The University says that it has no responsibility under Dutch law to provide housing; it is instead only responsible for education.
This year, the RUG has organised emergency accomodation (for about 180 people) at The Village student complex- though two years ago homeless students had to shelter in giant tents on the Zernike campus.
There is still availability at the ‘normal’ emergency housing- although this too is filling up fast.
Unsurprisingly, there are more than 180 students that cannot find housing
So far, S.O.S. have already received more than 200 applications from students who are looking for a place to spend the night. The registrations are going so fast that S.O.S. fears that they cannot arrange enough places to stay overnight. Spokesperson for S.O.S. Marinus Jongman: “At the moment we have seven times as many registrations as available beds. We therefore call on everyone to register as a Host.”
SOS. is a campaign by various student organizations from Groningen. They call on the municipality and educational institutions to arrange extra beds in the emergency shelter, to finally build the intended campus at Zernike and to better inform new international students about the problems of the room market for international students in the coming years.