Student union launches hotline

In 2017, Dutch law will require individual student rooms to be registered at a single address. Student union LSVb worries this will make it harder for students to apply for rental subsidies and is launching a hotline to report problems.
By Traci White

‘Registering all residents at one single address could lead to issues with inaccurately counting all the rooms as one household’, the LSVb announcement reads. In addition to collaborating with student housing expertise centre Kences and the tax authorities, LSVb has set up an email address for students to report issues with the implementation of the law and to ask any questions they may have about the changes.

The tightening of the basic registration for addresses and buildings (Basisregistratie Addressen en Gebouwen, BAG), initially announced in 2013, means that ‘student rooms, among others, will no longer be eligible for an individual house number address’, according to the LSVb site. For example, a student room which was previously listed as house number 2D will have to be registered at house number 2 instead.

Ineligible

By counting the incomes of all of the residents of one household altogether, it could mean that the individual inhabitants would no longer qualify for rental assistance. In order to be eligible for a rental subsidy, the combined income of a single household cannot exceed a certain amount.

Christiaan Brinkhuis, chairperson of the Groningen Student Union (Groninger Studentenbond), supports LSVb’s initiative. ‘I think it’s very prudent to launch this hotline’, he says.

Problems

According to Brinkhuis, there are roughly 30,000 students living in a student room in the city, approximately 27,000 of whom are renting a room on the private market. ‘Their rent is inevitably higher than the rent for rooms through corporations. As such, I think that problems with this law could crop up quite quickly.’

LSVb’s press release also states that the tax authorities are working to clearly indicate changing addresses in their own administration so as to avoid disqualifying students from applying for subsidies.

Nederlands

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