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Wanted: 8,400 student homes in Copenhagen

Housing shortage — There is an urgent need for 22,000 student homes for in Denmark, according to the Danish Construction Association. And 8,400 homes are needed in Copenhagen alone. The Social Liberal Party proposes setting up a general fund to build 20,000 new student homes.

6,873 students at the University of Copenhagen were told at the end of July that they had a place at the university. So far, so good.

But the demand for student housing is yet again sky-high this year. According to figures from the Danish Construction Association Dansk Byggeri there is an urgent need for 8,500 homes for students in the Danish capital city. Nationwide, the figure is 22,000 student homes.

Worst in Copenhagen

Even though more student homes have been constructed over the last couple of years, it is not enough to meet the demand.

According to the Danish Construction Association, only 900 new apartments have been built in Copenhagen since 2010

The greatest demand is in Copenhagen, where prices in the housing market are increasing, while the number of smaller homes of less than 74 square metres is dropping. According to the Danish Construction Association only 900 new apartments have been built in Copenhagen since 2010.

Last year’s revised zoning ordinance in the City of Copenhagen has allowed temporary student housing. These include 84 in the Refshaleøen district with space for 164 students, and the Bjarke Ingels Group is in the process of building 72 floating one-room apartments off Refshaleøen.

6,000 new homes

The new temporary homes are a step in the right direction, but they are far from being enough.

“It is a faster strategy, but it is not nearly enough to meet the demand. There are also some students, who rent a place to live outside the city, who would like to move closer to Copenhagen,” says Andreas Fernstrøm, who is head of analysis at the Danish Construction Association.

As an alternative, you should take a look at Aarhus, where they have introduced a housing guarantee for students
Andreas Fernstrøm, Head of Analysis, Danish Construction Association

“As an alternative, you should take a look at Aarhus, where they have introduced a housing guarantee for students. This helps ensure that new students quickly get a place to live. It would be able to help them with their most acute need. Sleeping on a sofa is not the coolest way to start your study programme,” says Andreas Fernstrøm.

In Aarhus, the housing guarantee means that newly enrolled students get ahead in the queue.

Parents’ buying of homes distorts the market

Some homeless students get help from their parents to buy an apartment. But many parents who buy apartments for their children set up a company with the child as the tenant. In this way it is cheaper in terms of interest expenses and property taxes.

Housing shortage

According to the Danish Construction Association there is a 22,000 student home shortfall at the national level. In Copenhagen, the figure is 8,500.

The City of Copenhagen has an ambition to build 6,000 new student housing units from 2010-2027.

So far, however, only 900 smaller apartments have been built.

When the child’s study programme is completed, parents can sell the flat to their child at a price 15 per cent lower than the public assessment. And the many parent home acquisitions are distorting the housing market, according to the Social Liberal Party, the Socialist People’s Party, the Red/Green Alliance, and the Danish People’s Party.

According to the Social Liberal Party the Danish treasury is losing DKK 285 million a year through the two tax loopholes.

Treasury loses DKK 285 million

The Social Liberal Party therefore suggests that the money should be used on a fund, which municipalities and housing associations can apply to funding from, so that they can provide 20,000 youth housing units over the next ten years.

It will benefit all young people, if we set up a permanent solution like a youth housing fund

Sofie Carsten Nielsen, Social Liberal Party

“We will abolish the existing tax benefits, and this will finance the fund. It will benefit all young people, if we set up a permanent solution like a youth housing fund,” says the education spokesman for the Social Liberal Party Sofie Carsten Nielsen to the DR Nyheder news site.

According to the Danish Construction Association, the set-up of a youth housing fund could help solve the problem of housing for students throughout the country.

“For many years, we have built larger, expensive apartments in Copenhagen, which students cannot afford. So it would be part of a solution if more social housing was made available,” says Andreas Fernstrøm from the Danish Construction Association.

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