Students in Wallonia who live in rented accommodation more than one hour away from their universities and graduate schools should be able to receive direct assistance from the region to the sum of 1,000 euros a year from September 2019. The measure was on the table of the Walloon Government on Thursday.
“It’s a great step forward and the end of a long combat,” commented Dimitri Fourny, head of the Humanist Christian Centre (cdH) group in Wallonia’s Parliament.
The cdH has been fighting for assistance for students with long commutes for more than 20 years, first at the federal level, where it advocated in vain for tax exemptions, then in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, FWB, where it was finally included in the government’s regional policy statement when the majority changed in the summer of 2017.
The subsidy will be given to students living in rented accommodation more than an hour away by road from their tertiary institutions. The travel time is calculated on the basis of car drive begun at 8.00 a.m. on a Thursday. To obtain the assistance, the student will need to submit an application to the administration.
According to Dimitry Fourny, the allowance could take effect from the start of the 2019 academic year, since a budget of 10 million euros has been set aside for student accommodation assistance.