Emergency housing hard to arrange, city worried about homeless students once more

The municipality of Groningen is creating 260 emergency beds for internationals next academic year, but students shouldn’t count on more becoming available. 

Alderman Roeland van der Schaaf says that, for various reasons, it’s even more difficult to arrange emergency shelter. 

First of all, the city won’t know the actual number of incoming students until September. There’s also the housing crisis plaguing Groningen and surrounding municipalities. The city can’t just create new buildings and there are very few empty properties. Besides, the municipality also has to shelter people with temporary residence permits and refugees from Ukraine, among other places. 

No dormitories 

The city is worried that there won’t be sufficient places to shelter students, which is why both the city and the UG are explicitly recommending students who haven’t found a room by August 1 not to come to Groningen at all. However, one important difference with the situation last year is that emergency beds can now be reserved in advance. 

The exact location of the emergency shelter hasn’t been determined yet, as the city is still working on those plans. At any rate, there won’t be any dormitories or tents, such as the dormitory at the Peizerweg at the start of this year.


For the 2023/2024 academic year, the city wants to construct a building at Zernike with four hundred temporary rooms, which would be up for fifteen years. These rooms, a spokesperson said, would ‘stretch’ to fit the yearly peak of students. Whenever possible, students would sleep two to a room, which would increase the number of available beds. 

In the meantime, the city is also working on a plan to build a permanent residential complex at Zernike, with thousands of student residences. This should lead to a permanent improvement in Groningen’s room shortage, but construction won’t be able to begin until 2025 at the earliest.



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