Several thousand are in a housing queue

The start of studies is approaching, and on 20 July, Samordna opptak will send out answers to the students’ applications. This means that the vast majority will be assigned a study city.

This year, the housing hunt in the study cities will probably be considerably more demanding than before.

In the absence of student housing to offer, around 75 percent of all Norwegian students must rent housing in the private rental market – and where the pressure is higher than for a long time.

Several thousand on the waiting list

Even before the study places have been allocated, the students have tried to hijack a home with the associations. This year, the waiting lists are extra high in several of the big cities, according to the associations.

In Stavanger there are just over 1000 on the waiting list, in Bergen there are 2200 on the waiting list, and in the capital there are as many as 6700 students in line to get housing from the community.

SOGN STUDENTBY: Here there are just over 1600 apartments and dormitories.  Photo: Jonas Been Henriksen / TV 2

SOGN STUDENTBY: Here there are just over 1600 apartments and dormitories. Photo: Jonas Been Henriksen / TV 2

The student organization in Stavanger says that there has been a significant increase in demand in the last two years.

– Even though we completed 160 new one-room apartments in 2020 and new 129 now in 2022, we have more than 1,000 applicants on the waiting list, writes assistant director of the Student Association in Stavanger, Øyvind Lorentzen.

– Those who contact us now are asked to find housing on the private rental market, he adds.

Low coverage

TV 2 has mapped the number of students and the number of student housing in the five largest study cities in Norway. The coverage rate is very low.

For only 15 percent of all the country’s students are offered housing, 10 percent live at home with parents or the owner themselves, and as many as 75 percent have to enter the private market, according to figures from the Norwegian Student Organization (NSO).

The students get a problem there, the organization believes.

– The private rental market has high prices and we see that it is difficult for students to compete with other groups with strong purchasing power in the private housing market, says NSO leader Maika Godal Dam.

WANTS MORE: The NSO leader believes that more homes must be built.  Photo: Martin Leigland / TV 2

WANTS MORE: The NSO leader believes that more homes must be built. Photo: Martin Leigland / TV 2

Great lack

The student organization has a goal that 20 percent of the students will be placed in student housing. It is a goal they are far from reaching.

For example, the student association Sammen in Bergen has 4472 student housing units, and none are vacant today. This against a number of students of 40,000.

– There is a great shortage of student housing, and we have a great need to build more in Bergen, says communications manager at Sammen, Marita Monsen, to TV 2.

NSO has a clear appeal to the government.

– We must prioritize building homes that students can afford. Then there must be some good regulations in place that make the students not have to accept living expensive and bad, says Godal Dam.

Blame each other

Minister of Higher Education Ola Borten Moe (Sp) writes in an e-mail to TV 2 that he would like to speed up construction.

– I agree that it is too slow to get new student housing in place, but it is not up to the government or the money. This year we give money to 1130 student dormitories, but we had money to build 1650.

He believes the host municipalities, especially Oslo municipality, are to blame for the construction taking too long.

DEPUTY LEADER: The Center Party's deputy leader Ola Borten Moe in TV2's election studio.  Photo: Jonas Been Henriksen / TV 2

DEPUTY LEADER: The Center Party’s deputy leader Ola Borten Moe in TV2’s election studio. Photo: Jonas Been Henriksen / TV 2

– I believe that Oslo Municipality, among others, could have done more to facilitate faster and cheaper construction of housing for students, says Borten Moe.

Oslo Municipality does not agree with the Minister on the issue of guilt.

– It is very important to facilitate student housing. I do not agree that the municipality does not contribute. I think on the contrary the government should do more. Ensuring the construction of student housing is in fact a state task, says Rasmus Reinvang, City Council Secretary for Urban Development (MDG).

He points out that the government recently sold a property at the old Veterinary College.

– The city council encouraged the state to get student housing there, but the state chose to sell to the highest bidder. That’s not good enough. In Oslo, we prioritize issues with student housing and have regulated over 3,500 student housing under this city council, so it is not up to us.

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