Kot crisis reaches peak: Cocom offers solution to unaffordable student housing for students

As the new academic year approaches, the student housing crisis becomes painfully obvious once again. The media colours red with articles about the shortage of student housing, substandard living conditions and the new phenomenon of 'luxury koten'. Is this the end of affordable student house? And will student housing become accessible only to wealthy families?

A testimonial from a Brussels student on hln.be does not lie:

"I recently visited a room that looked more like a cell, with a mattress on the floor next to the toilet. Asking price: 400 euros a month."

Looking for a dorm anno 2022? Many students are dying for it. And that is mainly because of this rising trend.

According to Statistics Flanders, the number of university students has increased by 50 per cent in the last decade, while the number of college students has risen by 10 per cent on average. In total, there are some 88,000 more students (college and university students) this year than in 2011.

In theory, this is a dream scenario for a country's development, but in practice it poses a pressing issue. Demand for student housing has skyrocketed, while supply has barely increased. Organisation Perspective Brussels is already sticking a figure on it: by 2030 and 20,000 to55,000 extra student rooms will be needed in student cities such as Ghent, Leuven, Antwerp, Brussels, Kortrijk and Hasselt.

Jurgen Ral of student organisation Brik also does not see the situation improving as an article on Bruzz.be quotes him:

"Next academic year, two price increases are coming. Rents will rise - as they do almost every year - but if costs are not included in that, they will also go up due to rising energy prices."

That two-fold increase in prices may well spell the end of affordable student housing. The affordable segment of student housing seems to be disappearing. A student house is becoming a luxury product while studying is a basic right in our democracy.

Cocom offers answer to student housing crisis

The future does not exactly look bright for students and parents. With the skyrocketing number of students, the supply of lots cannot keep up. If this trend continues, we will soon run into a painful impasse: families with studying children who do not live in cities, and therefore have no university or college in their vicinity, have their backs against the wall. Combine this with Belgian public transport regularly failing(when commuting is the only option) and we can speak of a real problem.

Cities can no longer accommodate students properly. And as a result, the accessibility and democracy of education is under strain. The tight lot market is really just an equivalent of the tight housing market, but on a smaller scale. The population is growing, but real estate cannot keep up. Demand is outstripping supply.

A structural solution will not be immediately at hand. Even Rome was not built in a day.

What can be done is to look for a solution from a different angle. At Cocom, for instance, we got the idea of launching vouchers for students and parents with studying children. With 100€ a month, you can already give your studying son or daughter 4 hours a week (or 16 hours a month) of space in the city where he or she is studying. That is 4 times less than the average price of a room. A student can use that space to study or complete tasks in peace and quiet, or to cover spring hours during the day. That way, a commuting student still enjoys a study spot with privacy, which is not always the case at home. 100€ per month or 400€ per month for a space for your studying son or daughter? The sum is quickly made, right?

Start the academic year off right and order Cocom's student vouchers today. Contact vouchers@cocom.be and choose your budget.

With the student vouchers, students can rent their own space that suits their taste, requirements and desired location. Like these budget-friendly workspaces and study rooms...

Check this space here.

Take a look at this space here.

Book this quiet studyroom here.