The municipality of Enschede states on its website that the temporary housing is intended for international students who have not yet found a room. The intention is for the students to move on to other accommodation by 3 December at the latest. The educational institutions determine which students are eligible for this accommodation on the basis of urgency.
This academic year, Enschede is facing a major shortage of housing, especially for international students. At the peak, 400 to 500 international students from the EU were looking for a room, says spokesman Laurens van der Velde. ‘Now, our questionnaire shows that just under two hundred of these students, first-year and exchange, have not yet found a permanent room.’ According to Van der Velde, the UT does not have a clear insight into what this group is doing. ‘The picture is very diverse: from campsites to bed and breakfasts.’
Several initiatives had already been taken earlier to tackle the housing problem. Arnold Enklaar and five other teachers joined forces with ESN (Erasmus Student Network) to provide rooms for international students. Twente Board, the UT, Saxion, the municipality of Enschede and housing corporations are also looking for short- and long-term solutions, for example by placing housing units on campus.
The temporary accommodation in Enschede's Snuifstraat will therefore offer some relief. De Woonplaats, owner of the property that is currently empty, is making the building temporarily available to the Stichting Jongeren Huisvesting Twente (SJHT). The official permit is expected to be granted at the end of September. The rooms are furnished.