Room shortages, tents, emergency housing, occupations, protests: Groningen isn’t necessarily known as the student city with the best room availability. But compared to other cities, it’s actually not doing too bad.
This is the conclusion the National Student Union (LSVb) reached when handing out the award for Best Student City for the fourth time. The union awards the prize each year for the city that works the hardest to house students.
They investigated the housing climate for students in twelve cities, testing them in four categories: the private housing market, the housing corporation sector, information concerning rent, and the presence of a renter’s team.
Groningen ended up in shared third place with the city of Nijmegen, with Wageningen coming in first and Eindhoven and Utrecht sharing second place. That’s impressive considering, as the LSVb says, Groningen has been ‘in a tough situation’ for years when it comes to student housing.
Wageningen was head and shoulders above the rest this year according to the LSVb, mainly because of its ‘housing guarantee’, in which the municipality guarantees that all students will have a place to live before May 1.
The lack of available rooms in Groningen is one of its main disadvantages. The LSVb says this deficit is only made worse by actions taken by the municipality, such as a ban on turning regular houses into student houses and certain neighbourhoods ‘locking out’ students when they feel the population is becoming unbalanced.
On the other hand, Groningen is one of the cheaper cities when it comes to room rent. The average price for a room in the city is 395 euros. Amsterdam, with an average of 520 euros a room, is the most expensive.
The city also scored points for having a renter’s team, which provides a free service for everyone who needs it, as well as its partnership with other commercial parties, corporations, and educational institutes such as the UG and Hanze University of Applied Sciences. The investigators also mentioned the information on housing available on a dedicated website.
Below Groningen’s third place are Amsterdam, Enschede, Maastricht, The Hague, and Leiden. Delft and Rotterdam are at the bottom.