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Over the coming year, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) will be creating around 80 temporary student residences inside Oudemanhuispoort in the University Quarter. Municipal authorities have approved the plan and issued the environmental permit this week, thus giving the green light to begin converting the building for student accommodation.

Repurposing existing premises

At present, the Faculty of Humanities (FGw) occupies a section of Oudemanhuispoort, which formerly also housed the UvA's Faculty of Law (FdR). However, since the Faculty of Law's relocation to the Roeterseiland Campus, part of the building has been unoccupied. Realising the vacant space could be used to alleviate the city's student housing shortage, the UvA decided to join forces with student accommodation provider DUWO. The student rooms will range in size, with rental prices starting from €200 and averaging €340 (excluding service charges). Bathrooms and kitchens will be communal.

According to Ilse Griek, an executive board member in the Centre district committee, 'There is a massive shortage of student accommodation, not only in the Centre district, but citywide. Since space to build is limited in the centre, we're pleased that the University of Amsterdam is offering some of its own real estate for temporary student residences.'

Measures to prevent nuisance

When plans for the new student units were unveiled, some residents voiced concerns about the potential nuisance. The UvA, municipal officials and residents met to discuss the issue and seek a shared resolution to allay their fears and remove the majority of the objections. The UvA and DUWO pledged to work to prevent the students from causing a nuisance. Fewer units will be built than originally planned, and measures have been taken in response to locals' concerns regarding privacy. The new student occupants of Oudemanhuispoort will furthermore be closely supervised by a DUWO housing manager to ensure good integration in the neighbourhood and minimal disruptions, and a point of contact will be assigned for local residents.