When I cycle from home to the campus, I can take one of two routes. One route passes by the station that is getting fuller and fuller with hip buildings and concepts such as The Student Hotel. The other route is a bit of a diversion along the Delfgauwseweg, you know, that long road that seems endless. There too, on the Jan de Oudeweg, an enormous building is being built to meet the housing needs of students. The obvious common element through all these projects is that the project developers build homes that generate the highest returns per square metre. This is a problem in terms of the welfare of students.
We are hit with it from all sides: the tight housing market and the resulting rental price hikes are causing major problems. This is true all over the country and not only in the Randstad. Delft is no exception. There is nothing wrong with project developers building buildings like crazy, but I wonder what factors they take into consideration when choosing the type of housing. It is abundantly clear that money is a strong driver, if not the strongest.
‘In large student houses, the students try to make the best of every day’
A previous Delta article clearly showed that students in general prefer to share accommodation. I recognise this 2020 picture. In my opinion, house sharing – and preferably with lots of others – is an important part of student life. Not only do students learn to get on with new people, they also learn about themselves. You only learn about living together by doing it. On top of this, peculiar house rules are excellent for students who otherwise have little structure in their lives. House activities are indispensable and are still talked about years later.
Most important are the friendships that students make with their housemates. In large student houses, the students try to make the best of every day, but they are also there for each other when things are not going too well. It is the perfect remedy for the increasing feelings of loneliness you see especially among students who live alone.
It is important that developers and housing corporations build larger student houses. Being a student is more than just studying.
The big student house where I lived with 14 others really enriched me. I look back at it with much pleasure. Our house motto is now more powerful and important than ever: ‘Homies for life’.
Can Yildiz is a master student at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.