Build more student apartments – SYL offers solutions for the housing shortage in growth centres

Autumn is a period of frantically looking for apartments for higher education students. The housing shortage for new students is an annually occurring phenomenon that shows no signs of improving. For instance, in the Helsinki region and in Oulu, the number of applications for student housing has risen this year. Different emergency accommodation has already been arranged in e.g. Tampere, Turku, and Joensuu.

“An increased production of student housing would mean more available apartments in centres of growth. This in its turn would support the objective of building more apartments and increasing the mobility of the work force, common to both the Sipilä Government as well as the growth centre municipalities. SYL has drawn up with some concrete suggestions that we would like to offer the Government and growth centres,” says President Heikki Koponen of the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL).

The housing need of students is inevitable greatest in large growth centres where education institutions are located. The fewer student apartments available, the more students compete against other applicants for reasonably priced rental apartments. The tough competition on the free rent market weakens the possibility of all with a low income to move to centres of growth. This in turn slows down the development and economic growth of these areas. We are soon approaching a situation, in which students or kindergarten teachers cannot afford to move to Helsinki, for example.

The rents for student apartments in growth centres are lower than the market rate, whereas the rent asked for rented apartments on the free market are often too high for students. Currently, housing expenses are the largest individual expense for students. The average monthly costs for housing for students is 511.68 euro, more than half of the average student income.

“Increasing the production of reasonably priced student housing would also help students’ finances and make it possible for people to attend higher education regardless of the content of their own or their parents’ wallets. We demand an increased production of student apartments”, says Ella Keski-Panula, member of SYL’s Executive Board.

Additional information:

Heikki Koponen, SYL President, tel. +358 44 906 5007, heikki.koponen@syl.fi

Turkka Sinisalo, SYL Social Policy Officer, tel. +358 41 515 2227, turkka.sinisalo@syl.fi