Municipality seeks support for room rental

If the municipal council were to decide that it is not allowed for a house with room rental to be located within thirty meters of another house with room rental, would that hamper the growth of the number of student rooms in Eindhoven? René van den Nieuwenhof, spokesman of alderman Yasin Torunoglu (responsible for student housing) says the measure is intended to prevent nuisance in neighborhoods and illegal rental activities, “but the basic idea is that it remains possible to have houses with room rental.”

The number of student rooms in Eindhoven needs to increase rapidly – see also TU/e’s couchsurfing-initiative, launched at the start of this academic year. But how far can the municipality go to make this happen? Alderman Yasin Torunoglu presented a wide variety of measures earlier this year aimed at solving this problem, but he also said that this “should not lead to problems in the neighborhood where an increase in the number of student rooms might put pressure on cohesion. Because everyone suffers when the quality of life in a neighborhood is damaged.”

At the time, Torunoglu claimed that Eindhoven fortunately has clear rules for this, but things turned out to be a bit more nuanced. In January of this year, the municipality had already started with a so-called umbrella plan, which outlined new policy concerning room rental and house splitting. In short, those clear rules Torunoglu was talking about in February were in fact still in the making.

Thirty meters

After several consultation rounds with the municipal council concerning this topic, the Mayor and Municipal Executive eventually presented the council with a letter to inform the council of its plans. With this letter, scheduled to be debated on Tuesday the 3rd of September during a special council meeting, the Mayor and Municipal Executive probe the support from the council for its proposals. The Mayor and Municipal Executive, in essence, submits proposals for six different amendments to the law concerning the physical environment (the so-called ‘Beleidsregels Ruimtelijk Omgevingsrecht 2018’).

The focus of the most heated debate during the last few months was the issue of within what range two houses with room rental may be located. The Mayor and Municipal Executive proposes not to allow room rental in a house within a range of thirty meters on all sides from a similar, existing house.

On Tuesday of last week, it turned out that D66, SP, LPF and ChristenUnie want Torunoglu to put forward an actual council proposal, which has to be recorded with possible resolutions and amendments. According to these parties, Torunoglu had promised to do so during the final discussion with the council.

Carefulness

Torunoglu’s spokesman René van den Nieuwenhof says that the proposal is currently being turned into a council proposal, and that the issue will be discussed once again within a few weeks. When asked whether or not this measure will hamper the growth of the number of student rooms in Eindhoven, Van den Nieuwenhof said the following: “These policy measures are intended to make room rental and house splitting possible in a careful manner. That carefulness is necessary in order to prevent nuisance as a result of concentrations of student houses. They also need to meet spatially relevant conditions, such as the exact dimensions. And it has to be legal, that means with the correct permit.”

The spokesman says that the basic idea behind the new rules is that room rental should remain possible, “and the thirty-meter rule offers enough space in the city for more room rental. The disappearance of illegal rental properties is in the best interest of the students in the long run as well. This makes Eindhoven a nicer place for them to live, and it creates more support for students in the neighborhood.”

Many of the measures announced by Torunoglu in February have been implemented, according to Van den Nieuwenhof. For example, student housing corporation Vestide will complete three hundred temporary housing units on the Slachthuisterrein located at the Insulindelaan in November. “At the same time, we’re working on medium and longterm agreements and initiatives with educational institutions, housing corporations, students and the municipality in order to bring balance to the supply of student housing.”

Many of the measures announced by Torunoglu in February have been implemented, according to Van den Nieuwenhof. For example, student housing corporation Vestide will complete three hundred temporary housing units on the Slachthuisterrein located at the Insulindelaan in November. “At the same time, we’re working on medium and longterm agreements and initiatives with educational institutions, housing corporations, students and the municipality in order to bring balance to the supply of student housing.”

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