Half of Red Building residents have already left

A dilemma for Huize 108: should they look for new roommates?

Tuindorp West Complex. Bootje varen. Foto: Sam
A boa ride before everbody left. Photo: Sam

The Red Building at Tuindorp-West Complex is being renovated. For this reason, all 300 residents must move out before October 15, 2024. DUB is following student house Huize 108 until the last roommate leaves. Part 3: How Medical student Sam feels to be the first one to leave. To read the first two articles in this series, click here and here.

“The past few months have felt a bit like a roller coaster,” says Sam, the medical student who is the first roommate to leave Huize 108. She is sitting in the living room next to her roommate Eva. “My emotions have gone in every direction.” 

They have all been fantasising about the move from the moment the roommates were told they would have to move out by October 2023. At first, they thought they could keep the renovation from happening by voting "no" in the SSH poll (the student housing provider needed the consent of at least 70 percent of the residents for the renovation to go through, Ed.). Then, they assumed they could all move to the new Baobab complex together. They even dreamed of a bombastic final party in the empty apartment. 

In the end, reality knocked on their door. Their time together is running out quicker than expected because everyone wants to leave as soon as possible. This will be a quiet summer in Huize 108, considering the residents on holiday and the temporary tenants moving in.

Tuindorp Huize 108: verstopte wasbak

The clogged sink could also use some renovation. Photo: Sam

Dumb luck
Sam was the first roommate to find a room. She will live in a building on Ramstraat with eight roommates. “I always get lucky when I look for a place to live,” she says. “Besides, it’s easy for me to talk to people. Here at TWC, I was chosen right away. This time, it was my third try and the two other ones didn't work out because I rejected them myself. I didn’t feel comfortable in the first house and, in the second one, there were only five other people, which I think is too few. The third house seemed like a lot of fun. I think there were eleven other applicants. Fortunately, I soon got a call with the news that I had been chosen.”

Her roommates Eva, Lars and Jelle would like to move to a house with a "youth contract" (a five-year contract for people aged 18-27, Ed.). Wobke and Tom are going to the Baobab complex, which is expected to be completed in the third or fourth quarter. Most others prefer to share a house with roommates, so they are busy searching for one. Joppe, the eldest, will be away from home for a month to do fieldwork and will only be able to look for a house after he comes back. The same goes for Renske, who will return from her exchange in a week. 

Others will have to wait a little longer. “I was the first person from our house to sign up for a studio with a youth contract,” says Eva. “A few weeks ago, I called Eddy, the manager of the complex. He told me that more than half of the residents have already moved out and houses with a youth contract are scarce. So, I'll have to wait until August. Lars and Jelle signed up for a house with a youth contract after I did, so they will have to wait even longer. If any of the old roommates continue to live here until the end, it’s probably them.”

Handsome guys
The house is going to get some temporary residents in the meantime. “We are allowed to choose those temporary tenants ourselves or nominate people for the rooms,” explains Sam. “We fantasised about that for a while too. For example, only inviting the most handsome guys to make things more exciting. Normally, there is this unwritten rule that you shouldn’t go out with your roommates because that can cause problems, but, when it's just a few months, it doesn’t matter that much.” But it was just a fantasy. “Maybe Lars and Jelle, who have lived here the longest, can choose some beautiful women. But I don’t think they have the time and energy for that, either.”

The residents of Huize 108 are also considering giving SSH permission to simply place people in their homes. “Nobody wants to go through the ordeal of choosing new roommates for such a short time," Sam sighs. “That requires quite a lot of energy and everyone is busy. That’s why I’m secretly glad I’m the first one to leave. I won’t have to go through all that.” 

However, the residents of Huize 108 are very curious about what kind of people will soon move in. “I really wouldn’t want to move in here. The rooms are unfurnished. So then you have to arrange furnishings to live here for just a few weeks or sleep on a mattress in an empty room. Even so, people in other TWC houses have told me that the rooms are being rented as soon as someone leaves. It looks like the demand is pretty high.” 

Het datediner van huize 108 Foto: Sam

Huize 108's date dinner. Photo: Sam

Sam isn't exactly disappointed that the final party will happen after she’s left. “We’ve had more than enough parties here. Things have been quite intense lately. We've recently organised a very successful date dinner, but one of our roommates had to be brought home early because she had too much to drink. We also threw a house party in which Floris kicked out the toilet door on the ground floor because he was drunk. So, there has been no shortage of chaos.”

“That toilet door really needs to be fixed,” says Eva with a sour face. “I live on that floor. There is only a curtain in front of the door and when someone goes to the toilet, the stench spreads through all the rooms. We have already called SSH but no one has come to fix it yet. I wonder if they will at all. They also intend to renovate toilets and bathrooms, so it's probably inefficient for SSH to put in a new door now, only to take it out again later.”

Tuindorp-West Sam Foto: Sam

Sam, the busy bee

Sam (20) is a second-year medical student. Although her studies require quite a lot of time, she also practices sports such as running and fitness often. She intends to pick up kickboxing again, something she used to do before moving to TWC, back when she had an Olympos subscription. She also plays the piano and loves to crochet clothes.

"Travelling is a big hobby of mine,” she says. Her latest backpacking trip was in Indonesia, last summer. This summer, she will travel around Europe with her parents for a week and a half and then go to Budapest with some friends for another week and a half. But her biggest trip will only happen when she graduates with her Bachelor’s: she wants to take a gap year and travel around Asia and Central America. “That’s why I would like to work and save a lot of money. I just need to find a job.”