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University of Copenhagen
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Homeless students got soaked

Student activists made themselves homeless 9 November, thereby drawing attention to the student housing crisis

Student activists from National Union of Students in Denmark (DSF) and the United Student Council set up camp and became homeless on City Hall square Monday 9 November, raising awareness about an imminent student housing crisis.

It was, undeniably, a sorry sight to see the rain seep into their tents and ruin their home-baked chocolate cake. Passers-by appeared to feel genuinely sorry for them. The students were getting their socks damp for more and cheaper housing for students.

Read the University Post’s previous article about the cause and the protest here.

A growing problem

Its all about the housing crisis. Over the next 10 years, 22,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 29 will move to Copenhagen, and there are apparently no political solutions on the horizon, warns DSF.

»The forecast is, like today, grey and dreary. Politicians agree that student housing is a huge problem, so I simply can’t understand why they don’t act on it. There aren’t anyone with a concrete suggestion on how to solve the problem,« says Laura Toftegaard Pedersen of DSF.

»The municipality of Copenhagen has in recent years consciously not added any student housing in the city, and have deliberately boosted the building of larger apartments and renovations that push up prices.«

The rent is too steep

The choice of tents as the eye catcher is no coincidence. According to Laura Toftegaard Pedersen, many newly arrived students live in hostels, trailers, and in tents at friends’ and family’s places.

Read about international students’ problems finding housing here.

The waiting list for Halls of Residence can be as long as a year unless you have the right contacts, and the rooms with the shortest wait tend to be expensive and lousy.

Many students lose patience with the waiting lists and start looking to rent privately. There the prices are high and ten percent of tenants are often faced with illegal terms. Many are, for example, forced to pay money ‘under the table’, or have an illegally high rent.

uniavis@adm.ku.dk

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