Minister to tackle student housing shortages

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Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner plans to introduce measures to increase the number of student rooms available by 16,000.

Minister Donner told Dutch public Radio 1 that he has drafted a plan of action jointly with Dutch universities and higher education colleges, city councils and the property sector.

The last group has joined the initiative because the minister is also planning to build new student accommodation. There are long waiting lists for student accommodation in the Netherlands.

Some city councils have converted sea containers into temporary housing for students. Green Left MP Linda Voortman has suggested using empty government property to sell or let to the elderly, students, first-time buyers and young families.

Last year, one in 30 government buildings were empty; now that figure is 1 in 25. By 2016, 10 percent of government property is expected to be empty. The elderly, students, young families and first-time home buyers like to live in the city centres where these buildings are located. She wants the minister to look into the feasibility of housing people in these empty buildings with the help of housing associations.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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