Norway lacks applications for the building of sufficient student housing.
Money has been set aside to build 3,400 student housings in Norway this year alone. The Norwegian student associations have, however, only applied for funds for a little less than 1,450.
“At the start of every study year, thousands are queuing up for student housing. Increased effort on student housing has been a desire from the student organisations for a long time. It has also been an important focus area for the Norwegian Government. It has increased the level from around 1,000 approvals annually before 2013. Now that the Government has allocated money to build record many homes, too few construction projects are ready. That is surprising,” Minister of Research and Higher Education, Iselin Nybø (Liberals), informs.
In order to build more student housing, both the financial framework and rates were increased last year. The grants will also be price-adjusted annually. These are measures that will help make it easier for student associations to initiate their construction projects. Way too few applications have, however, been issued.
“We will inquire the student organisations about why. Is it simply because the need for more student housing is declining after five years of record grants? I still hope that we will build the additional 3 – 400 student housings that there is still room for in the budget. I will, therefore, consider delaying the application deadline. This to give more associations the opportunity to finalise the planning of projects,” Nybø continues.
Many have applied for funds for rehabilitation
In addition to the approximately 1,450 student accommodations, applications for support to rehabilitate 1,760 residential units have been submitted.
“The student associations themselves must, in principle, cover maintenance by means of rental income. The regulations limit the opportunities we have to use state funds on rehabilitation. My foremost priority remains to build more student housing,” the Cabinet Minister explains.
More “green” student housing
The Government recently received the report from a workgroup that has looked at the subsidy scheme for student housing in Norway. The group proposes measures to ensure that the resources allocated to the construction of such dwellings are spent more efficiently. The report is submitted for consultation.
“We also want input on environmental measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from student housing, and whether this should be emphasised in future allocations. Universities, colleges and departments should be at the forefront when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in their own organisations. The same applies to student housing. I, therefore, believe that future student dwellings must be even greener than today,” Iselin Nybø concludes.
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