Stip campaigns on the Markt

Stip, the Municipal Council political party, draws attention to the shortage of student housing without communal space from a ‘living room’ in the middle of the Markt.

Stip playfully drew attention to the shortage of student houses without communal living rooms. (Photo: Marjolein van der Veldt)

Passers-by looked on in surprise at a group of students acting out a scene in an improvised living room in the middle of the Markt square. It turned out to be a Students of Technology In Politics (Stip) initiative. The Municipal Council party playfully drew attention to the shortage of  student houses without communal living rooms and the increasing level of loneliness among students.

While one of her ‘housemates’ pours coffee and another sits down on the sofa, the Party Chair Ida de Boer welcomes us to the ‘open air’ CS. “CS stands for communal space, TU Delft student slang for a living room,” she explains.

Having a friendly CS is anything but certain. “Housing corporations such as Duwo now mostly build one-person accommodation such as studios with personal amenities and hardly any student housing where several students share the accommodation.”

This is making her worried, especially as student well-being has been under great pressure over the last few years. “Housemates support each other and alert each other if things are not going well with someone. This helps us avoid more care.” 

‘A laundry room is not a communal space’

The constituency is also calling for student houses with shared amenities. A recent Delta questionnaire confirms that students would rather live together than alone. Why were mostly self-contained homes such as Campus 015 Pauwmolen and the block of flats on the Stieltjesweg, built in Delft over the last few years?

“It is financially attractive for housing corporations to build studios,” explains party colleague Rick van den Brink. “The residents can apply for a rent subsidy for self-contained homes which pushes up the rent. The corporations have tight budgets so there is nothing wrong with that, it’s just that it’s out of balance.”

Housing preferences international students
Party Chair De Boer says that “This is why Stip is working with the corporations to build more group residences for students.” This has already started as Duwo, the student housing office, is already working on a new concept that has a shared communal space for several studios.

To encourage this, Stip and other parties including the ChristenUnie party submitted a motion. “We want shared accommodation to really be shared accommodation,” says Van den Brink. “A laundry room is not a communal space. This new concept must not end up being studios in disguise.”
De Boer believes that the fact that international students prefer self-contained living spaces shows the need for a better balance. “At the moment only studios are being built. We must not lose sight of the collective spirit.”

News editor Marjolein van der Veldt

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