Students can stay in room of international until September against reduced price

The SSH had rented nine hundred rooms for this semester to international students, from UU, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, and the HKU. When the corona crisis began, about half of those students went home. That means the rooms are empty. "At a time when there is such a housing shortage, that is not a good thing," says Roeland Kreeft of student housing provider SSH. "We tried to get those rooms occupied with an attractive offer."

For this reason, the rent for these rooms has been reduced to 350 euros. Kreeft: "In addition, there is a campaign that students who accept this offer will receive a one-year waiting period as a gift. That can be beneficial for some students. Suppose you have spent nearly enough time on the waiting list to get a room, then with that extra year you might be able to go somewhere else in September. This way, we want to encourage that the rooms remain occupied in any case." The special campaign runs until May 1.

Loss of income
Some of the vacant rooms have been reserved at the SSH by Utrecht University. For the university, it concerns 250 of the approximately 650 rooms. According to the rules, UU pays for the loss of income. Kreeft: "Formally, that's correct. There are several reasons included in the contract that state why a student can cancel a room, but something like the corona crisis is not included. Moreover, some internationals want to go back to their room, but they are just unable to come here. Afterwards, we will look at the damage done by the vacancy and discuss with the university how we are going to solve that".

According to UU policy officer Lenn Lamkin, it is not yet certain whether fewer rooms will be needed for internationals in September. "The expectation is that there will be fewer exchange students. Some partner universities of UU, for example in Australia, advise their students not to come to Utrecht".