Back to university: 1,700 VUB students still waiting to find rooms

Back to university: 1,700 VUB students still waiting to find rooms
Student rooms have become scarce and unaffordable in Belgium. Credit: Belga

With the new academic starting in less than a month, many students in Brussels are still struggling to find a room in the city. At the Brussels university VUB alone, 1,700 students are on the waiting list, Bruzz reports.

The VUB and student organisation Brik sounded the alarm several months ago and have asked the government to intervene. In April, Brik reported that Brussels lacks up to 12,000 student rooms for the number of students living in and coming to the city.

Meanwhile, with rent skyrocketing, students protested against the price increase of VUB housing that same month.

The rooms of Upkot, one of the biggest players in the student housing market, are all rented out. So are the 300 rooms offered by Brik, which is finalising ten new rooms in the meantime. The MyKot website does still have some rooms on offer.

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The new rooms that will be available soon are often in a higher price range, as they include a private bathroom and kitchen.

Brik spokesperson Maarten Matthijs pleads for the availability of more affordable rooms. “There are not enough basic rooms with only a sink and shared shower and kitchen facilities on offer. Brussels remains the most expensive student city in our country.”

Bart Geelen, who is responsible for student housing at the VUB, agreed. “There is a shortage of affordable, quality rooms.”

In Brussels, students pay an average of €490 for a room. Even in Flanders, the average is €70 cheaper, while in Wallonia rent is €100 lower compared to Brussels.

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