Average waiting time for student housing over 4 years long; Often longer than studies
The student housing shortage in the Netherlands has reached the point where the average waiting time for a student room or home through the housing associations is now longer than studying for a Bachelor’s degree with no delays at over four years. Students hoping for a home in Amsterdam, Leiden, Wageningen, and The Hague have to wait even longer, RTL Nieuws reports after analyzing the rooms rented by student housing providers in the past three months and how long the tenants had been waiting.
Leiden had the longest waiting time. Students hoping to rent a room or home through a housing association had to wait an average of six years and nine months. In Amsterdam, Delft, and Wageningen, students waited an average of between five and five and a half years. In Utrecht, the average wait was four years and three months.
The broadcaster stressed that these are averages, so some students got a home more quickly, and others had to wait even longer.
Jolan de Bie, director of Kences - the umbrella organization for student housing providers, is shocked by the figures. “It is horrible that the waiting time is so long. That indicates a huge housing shortage for students, and that must be solved quickly,” he said to the broadcaster.
According to De Bie, it is essential to register with a housing association early to increase your chances of finding a room during your studies. Young people can register for student housing from the age of 16. But as 16-year-olds usually don’t know where they want to study, they don’t register until age 19 on average, according to the broadcaster.
Kences is currently working on an accessible national platform in an attempt to distribute the chances of getting a student room more fairly. “Soon, everyone will be able to register in one place for all student cities and social housing providers,” De Bie said. Kences hopes to introduce this platform for the next academic year.
Other housing associations looked for different solutions. SSH& in Arnhem and Nijmegen, for example, abolished the waiting lists in 2020 and now uses a lottery system instead. According to the housing provider, this gives every student the same chance of getting a room or student accommodation. Housing associations in Enschede, Tilburg, and Breda also use a lottery system for rooms, but waiting lists still apply for a studio or apartment.