Freshers are having a hard time finding affordable rooms

Room rental prices just keep on rising

At UIT, the introduction week, every time DUB asked a student whether or not they already had a room, most of them replied with a sigh. "How does one even come across an affordable room?" One of the students we spoke with is going to travel back and forth from Doesburg, almost 80 km away from Utrecht. "I know that's far away but there is no other way." While many Dutch students choose to keep living with their parents and take their time looking for suitable accommodation, international students don't have that luxury: DUB heard from an international fresher that she is paying 1,800 euros a month for a 20 square-metre room. 

According to figures published by Kences in September 2022, the Netherlands is 27,000 rooms short of meeting the demand. The municipality of Utrecht estimates that 5,300 of those rooms are in the city. The government is aware of the problem as an action plan to create 60,000 additional rooms was announced last year. The city of Utrecht came up with its own action plan earlier this year, promising to get rid of the problem by 2030. 

Students can find affordable accommodation through SSH, a student housing provider, but the waiting list is long: right now, students must wait 38 months to get a room. That's why most of it end up renting apartments from the private sector. According to Johan de Bie, from Kences, about fifty percent of student rooms are offered by private persons. However, the offer has been diminishing due to ever stricter rules imposed by the government, repressive local policies and heavier taxation on rental income.

Another option is renting a room in the same house as the landlord (also known as hospita), which is rising in popularity thanks to relaxed rules for this kind of arrangement.

For other tips on how to find a room in Utrecht, please read this article. Last year, DUB also spoke with international students about how they went about looking for a room.