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New plan: Houseboats for international students and scientists

Homes on boats in the canals of Copenhagen. One of the projects listed on a new plan by the University of Copenhagen's Housing Foundation, which includes hundreds of new homes for international students and scientists

The University of Copenhagen’s Housing Foundation is hoping to solve the problem of international student housing with a project for 890 new homes, slated to be ready in 2016.

One of the most interesting projects is one that involves turning houseboats into student accommodation. The project has yet to receive its final approval from the City of Copenhagen.

But it seems realistic, according to Charlotte Simonsen, director of the foundation. Previously, the foundation has helped secure student homes in buildings which used to belong to the Danish state railways

(Editor’s Note: Need help finding housing? Here is our 2014-updated Guide to housing in Copenhagen)

Low rent is a priority

The foundation will have a total of 1,742 homes when the new homes are added to the existing 852.

“The 1,742 homes are what we’ve calculated is needed to cover the demand for internationals. I believe we will achieve it in three years. At the moment, we have five projects on the go that we expect will secure us the new houses,” says Charlotte Simonsen.

The foundation is aiming to keep rent as cheap as DKK 3,500 – 4,500 per month – furnished and including bills. New accommodation tends to be up to DKK 6,500, and Charlotte Simonsen says it’s important to keep it lower:

“That doesn’t just go for our student accommodation, but housing for international scientists as well. Their income is often paid from their home country and can be much lower than the Danish equivalent. It’s therefore important that we have reasonably priced homes,” she says.

Profits to go to more accommodation

So far, the foundation can only lease accommodation out for international students and scientists. But it aims to help Danish students in the future too. This won’t happen until 2016, when housing needs for internationals are met.

The foundation aims to meet its own budget demands through user fees, and has projected a turnover of DKK 46 million in 2014, two of which are profit that will go to future expansion of the housing portfolio. /

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