Student accommodation in Groningen to be expanded

winschoterdiep-an-ssh-groningen-student-accommodationBy Matt Richards

The student accommodation provider SSH will offer more student rooms in 2017, in a move that seeks to tackle the housing crisis in Groningen.

Jesse Van Mourit, SSH Spokesperson, says the organisation hopes to add several hundred new rooms for the 17/18 academic year, and will continue to consult with RUG and Hanze regarding the numbers of rooms needed.

As the official accommodation provider for the two universities, SSH currently offers 1550 rooms in Groningen for non-Dutch students to apply for pre-arrival. However, with 5,000 international students at RUG alone, SSH accommodation was full by the end of July. The shortage means some students have had to stay in temporary accommodation such as hostels whilst they search for a permanent room.

Anders Alavarez, an exchange student from Navarra, Spain, was not able to secure accommodation in advance of arriving. “It’s impossible,” he says, explaining that he had stayed in three short term accommodation options in total whilst he searched for a room in a house. “It’s not the most comfortable thing.”

According to Van Mourit, the Housing Act 2015 restricted SSH’s ability as a landlord to work with other partners. This limiting factor will soon be reversed, making collaboration with partners possible again.

However, she cautions that it is still early days. Meetings with providers have taken place and SSH hopes to begin expanding from January 2017, but no definite locations or contracts have been agreed. Will the rooms be ready? ‘We will try our very best,’ she promised.

“The university would encourage SSH’s plans for expansion of their accommodation”, a RUG spokesperson said. A Hanze spokesperson agreed, saying, “we are all working together to see if next year we have sufficient rooms for all students”.

Read more: Students fall prey to housing fraud

4 thoughts on “Student accommodation in Groningen to be expanded

  1. Reblogged this on nmharte and commented:
    Okay – so they want to expand SSH and therefore force international students to consistently pay more than Dutch student for sub standard, dirty accommodation. I lived at Winscho, I was paying less than they are now for a room without wifi, a kitchen which was shared with 16 other people, communal showers and 2 toilets shared between 40 girls or so. The other housing, such as Van Houtenlaan is so much worse, it is remote, needs extreme renovation. It seems as though SSH just buys shitty, old office buildings and “normalises” it that this is where the international students live. If you’re on exchange, then yeah it’s kind of okay because you’re not there for long. But as a full time student, the options really should be different. No dutch student lives like that, so why should we have to?

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    • I was thinking bout staying in Winscho. But now I’m having second thoughts. Could you give me some advice about staying in Winscho or other student housing? Well, having no wifi is really bad as they said that they will provide wifi when we do the booking. If I want to book a place in Winscho, should I do it fast as I think that many international students would also want to find a place to stay. I would appreciate if I could get some information. Thanks!

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      • Hi dwlll, they’ve installed wifi across Winscho now, and it does work almost all of the time. Anecdotally, it is widely accepted that SSH costs more than other private housing, but can be secured more easily in advance (if you’re quick, as it does fill up fast). Otherwise there are agencies and Facebook groups for finding houses. The Groningen student newspaper did a piece on living in SSH – it’s a year old now, but may be useful: http://archief.ukrant.nl/magazine/one-year-with-ssh

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hiya! Sorry for the late response. I would say that if you are here for a semester long exchange then it is probably okay, but just for me it wasn’t the right fit. Also, it’s pretty over priced in comparison to the other options which exist – and by that I mean perhaps subletting someones room, or (dependent on how long you are staying in Groningen) finding a place in a house straight away. If you were to look at facebook groups (just search Groningen rooms or kamers in Groningen) then you would be able to find something relatively easily I would say 🙂
        i lived there 2 years ago, so they may have wifi by now? i can’t speak with total knowledge on the subject, but i just found it to be a really disappointing offering on behalf of the university.

        hope this is helpful… have a great time in groningen!

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