Elderly centre to house students

Political disagreements at the local level means hundreds of students may find housing in Copenhagen despite the city’s dreadful student housing reputation

Hundreds of students desperately looking for a place to live could be handed an unexpected offer in the near future.

If the council approves the move, the elderly centre Plejecenter Sølund, located just north of Sortedam Lake, will make around 220 rental units available to students and other housing seekers over the course of the next three months.

“This is a very sensible solution, both for the students who have a tough time finding a place to live and for the council, which won’t have to pay for empty apartments,” Ninna Thomsen (Socialistisk Folkeparti), the deputy mayor for health, told Berlingske newspaper.

Construction delays opened doors
The apartments in the centre will be rented out temporarily over the next three years and would have cost the council 20 million kroner a year if they remained empty.

Plejecenter Sølund was supposed to be torn down and rebuilt as a modern elderly care centre, but the construction project has been postponed due to political disagreement about local planning.

Construction was halted after the Konservative party argued that the project did not take into consideration the parking spaces that would be lost during the construction phase.

Much needed student housing
The political loggerheads are a boon for students, given how notoriously difficult it is to find student housing in the capital.

”It’s a good start. Student housing is a massive problem in Copenhagen and this solution is concrete and can be quickly executed, which is really positive,” Gwen Gruner-Widding, the head of the University of Copenhagen student council, told Politiken newspaper.

According to Thomsen, an agreement with the housing company that runs the building, KAB, is already in place and she expects the council to grant the move.

KAB estimated that the apartments will cost around 3,500 kroner per month, including electricity, water and heat.