The (Dutch) housing market is becoming a nightmare for certain groups in our society, including us (students)! You’ve probably heard of problems surrounding student housing; there is barely any room left in the big student cities, and if you can find a room, the rent is often insanely high. The same goes for other minorities. We’re talking about Seniors, starters, expats, migrants and patients or clients who have just come out of care. These groups are all comprised of people who are new in the housing market and have a relatively small budget.
Even though the people in these groups are very different in nature or origin, they’re experiencing the same problems in trying to find a house. So why not try to combine these groups? Typical student rooms are often concentrated together, with lots of spaces for students in one building, whereas suitable housing for migrants is often concentrated in a certain part of the city.
The last few years, new initiatives have been set up to try and combine these groups. Instead of building new, expensive houses for people with bigger budgets, old buildings are being renovated and flipped so that they can be used as housing for these vulnerable groups. And instead of appointing such a building to one group, companies are trying to create a ‘magic mix’. Besides from the fact that the building van be used for multiple groups, this has more advantages.
The groups can use each other’s unique differences: Combining students and ex-patients or clients, for, example, can have a positive impact on the recovery of those patients. Often in these combinations, a student can get a room for a relatively good price, whilst also making a promise to look after their vulnerable neighbours.The same goes for students living together with seniors. This, in turn, can be a great alternative for elderly people who are still very independent but wish to have help or safety nearby.
Lastly, these projects are giving a boost in the market for affordable budget homes. Instead of building new houses for families or expensive houses, they flip old buildings (as longs as they are still safe and habitable), which means there is no need for destruction of houses or building new. This perspective also makes there projects sustainable. It is also a great opportunity for students who might have the ambition to work in the field of social work or social care, or for students who don’t want to live in a typical student building