Fewer growing pains continue for international student housing

Finding enough living spaces for TU Delft’s international students has long been a challenge.
The local rental market has caused plenty of headaches for Dutch students and staff over the years. It’s even more difficult to deal with when you’re coming from overseas and know next to nothing about the local rental market.

As a result, efforts have been made in recent years to
guarantee housing for international students. DUWO, the housing group tasked with organising accommodations for many of them, remains confident that it will be able to handle these requests for the coming year.

“We’ve been preparing for some time, as we do every year,” said Michiel Ensink, a branch director for DUWO. “We do this by talking to the housing office at TU Delft on a regular basis and we target the specific needs of international students for the coming academic year. Based on the applications that TU Delft has received for this coming year, we should be able to house every international student who wants to rent a room.”
DUWO and other local housing organisations have struggled to find spaces for these students in years past. In December of 2014, several of them also reported problems with housing quality and high rental prices, especially at the Student Hotel in Den Haag. More recently, others have encountered difficulties like finding better accommodations from DUWO once their contracts conclude.

“Initially, students who were beginning their year of studies in the summer of 2015 and were living in Rijswijk, Den Haag and Schiedam were given no choice of searching for houses themselves in Delft if they weren’t satisfied with their chosen housing,” said Rajarshi Sinha, secretary of Delft International Student Society. “This was a huge problem for the students, as the distance from TU Delft to these cities can be quite overwhelming. It was, however, eventually sorted out and this year they were given options for housing in the city without any hassles.”
Sinha and other residents who live in the Student Pavilions Aan ’t Verlaat, a former mental health care facility located in Delft, have also been contending with an ongoing rodent problem. “We’ve been dealing with this problem for a year now,” Sinha said. “We’ve written many emails and the landlords have tried to do different things but nothing is working out.”

TU Delft’s student body expected to grow to 25,000 by 2022 and there are various projects and initiatives are in the works to add housing or replace outdated existing properties. “Several temporary housing complexes, 400 rooms in total, will be replaced by new/permanent facilities on the TU campus,” Ensink said. “Most important is the development of a new complex located along the Schemerhornstraat, which will house 332 interna-tional students.”

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