At least 1,700 students have to leave their homes and 15 student houses can close their doors, if the municipality strictly enforces the new rules for room habitation. That is the fear of Eindhoven student associations.
“Many students are evicted from their homes. We hold our hearts. And there is already a lot of stress among students with the current housing shortage. Are students welcome in this city?” The cry for help comes from Imke Bloemen of DAS Eindhoven, a student party at TU/e. On Tuesday evening, many students expressed their concerns about the stricter rules in the city for room occupancy and house division to the city council.
Approach ‘slum’ landlords
Last year in May, Eindhoven politicians tightened up rules to tackle ‘slum’ landlords and maintain the life quality for target groups. For example, within a 30-meter circle of an existing rental room building or division, new room rental or house split may not be allowed. Besides, no additional rental properties may be allowed in some neighbourhoods. The rules also relate to places where rental is done without a permit.
“Loss of the involved groups”
Students and labour migrants, among others, are at the risk of being evicted under the new rules. “I think a lot of students will end up on the street”, says Bloemen. She receives support from, among others, Mijntje van der Lande, who speaks on behalf of student associations SSRE, Demos and ESC. “Many student houses will then have to be closed. And committed students live there who have a bond with the city. This means the loss of students in Eindhoven and this chafes the existence of the associations.”
The city council will consider the raised problems next week. In that case, local politicians must agree to extra time for landlords to convert illegal occupancy into a legal one. They would then have until this year to complete the process.
Private Landlords Eindhoven (BPVE) is happy with this extra time. “For years there was a lot of confusion about the rules. Hopefully that will soon be a thing of the past. We think that with these new rules and a little more time, the rogue landlords can be dealt with better”, said Janneke van Engelen of BPVE.