115 of 125 beds are currently occupied, says city spokesperson Manon Hoiting. The emergency location, run by the city, will shut down on Thursday, December 23. Emergency housing has stayed open for much longer than in previous years, by two months.
It’s not exactly clear how many students are still looking for a permanent place to live. SSH, the housing corporation renting out the rooms until December 23, did distribute a survey among the residents in early December, but not everyone has responded.
‘We sent out 126 surveys and received seventy-eight responses’, says SSH spokesperson Madelon van Gameren. ‘Of those, fifty students said they hadn’t found a new room yet.’
Hoiting says that SSH will stop renting out rooms in the Martinihouse after Christmas: ‘DJB Vastgoed is taking over. The students living there now will be offered the opportunity to rent a room. The new company will offer a new contract to all the residents who want to stay.’
It’s unclear what form the contract will take – whether it’ll be the controversial short-stay contract or a permanent one – and how much the new owner will charge for the rooms. UKrant contacted DJB Vastgoed for more information, but to no avail: the new owner said they were too busy getting ready to take over the building to talk about it.
According to Marinus Jongman, spokesperson for Shelter Our Students (SOS), it looks like there aren’t any students in immediate need of housing. ‘SOS abandoned its efforts a while ago; the height of the emergency was over’, he says. ‘We no longer received messages from people unable to find a place to live. Some people contacted us to say they were having trouble, but nothing that indicated that we should help people in immediate need.’
SOS was set up by several student associations and mounted a couchsurfing campaign in August to help homeless students. They received hundreds of requests from mainly international students who had trouble finding a room. They matched up approximately 250 of these students with hosts temporarily offering a guest room or a couch.
After the Academy building was occupied, SOS received more support from the city, which helped them reach all the students who’d signed up by phone to create an overview of everyone who still needed help and who had already found a room.