Harry van der Molen, a CDA Member of Parliament, has submitted parliamentary questions to the ministers of education and the interior about the shortage of rooms for international students in Groningen.
Translation by Traci White
Van Der Molen, a member of the Christian Democratic Union party, was prompted in part by temporary housing facilities for international students in Groningen, including rooms in a former retirement home, a vacant office, a hotel boat, a club and tents at a number of campsites across the city.
“Rent prices are going through the roof for student rooms and emergency measures are in place to house international students (such as tents in Groningen). Have we made any progress in fighting this problem this year? Erik Ronnes and I have submitted questions to find out,” Van Der Molen tweeted.
De huurprijzen van studentenkamers gaan door het dak. En de eerste noodgrepen om internationale studenten te huisvesten (zoals in tenten in Groningen) zijn er al weer. Wat zijn we dan dit jaar met elkaar opgeschoten? Vraag ik samen met collega @ErikRonnes (wonen). pic.twitter.com/py9LC023zL
— Harry van der Molen (@harryvdmolen) August 17, 2018
Van Der Molen’s questions covered how it was possible that 40,000 students were unable to find housing last year, why there are so few affordable housing options for recent graduates and young professionals, how universities are balancing recruiting international students and being able to guarantee adequate housing, and whether there were any indications that the lack of housing discouraged students from studying in the Netherlands.
The Groninger Internet Courant reports that Van Der Molen pointed out that rent prices are on the rise due to the scarcity of available rooms: the national average price for renting a student room this year rose above 400 euros for the first time ever. Van Der Molen wants the minister of education and the minister of the interior and kingdom relations to explain what steps have been taken, or what steps they intend to take, in order to ensure more affordable housing is available.
Parliamentary questions (kamervragen in Dutch) are a procedure for members of the Dutch parliament and senate to pose direct questions to government ministries. The questions and the answers provided by the ministries are published online: the ministers have up to three weeks to address the parliamentary questions or request an extension for more time.
Van Der Molen joined the Dutch parliament in 2017 and served as an alderman and a municipal council in Leeuwarden between 2006 and 2017. Erik Ronnes, another CDA MP who has been in the parliament since 2015, co-submitted the questions along with Van Der Molen.