08 September 2023, by Emily Proctor
The Dutch political party D66 has called on the current government to address the shortage of student housing across the country before the new government is elected in November 2023. The party argues that the existing government, headed up by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, should not leave the problem for the new government to resolve and should not ignore the significant student housing shortage that is currently causing issues in a number of Dutch cities.
D66 make joint appeal to government with nine interest groups
The party made its call for action as part of a manifesto with nine other interest groups. The manifesto called on the current caretaker government to address the housing shortage and not to declare it as a controversial issue. Controversial issues will be left for the incoming government, that will be elected in November 2023, to discuss and make policy on.
The group has called on public housing minister Hugo de Jonge to make more rooms for students to live in, as many students often end up struggling to find accommodation, even after the semester has already begun. D66 MP Faissal Boulakjar told ANP that students are searching “in vain” every year to find appropriate housing before they start studying.
D66 manifesto signed by association for student housing
Kences, the association for student housing in the Netherlands, has also joined forces with D66 to back the manifesto. “Action in the short term is needed,” Kences director Jolan de Bie told ANP. 2020-2021 figures show that there was a shortfall of 26.500 student houses throughout that academic year, which could rise to 66.700 by the year 2028-2029 if no action is taken.
Recently, a number of groups have come out to ask the government not to postpone making policy on student housing, including the influential Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG). The Dutch parliament will decide which issues will be declared as “controversial” and therefore left for the new government, on September 12.