‘Homeless’ students occupy empty school

While students protest a lack of affordable housing in Copenhagen, a majority in the City Council want to set aside 200 million kroner in next year’s budget to address the problem

Students attempted to occupy an abandoned school yesterday to highlight the lack of student accommodation available in the capital.

According to Politiken newspaper, the student group Hjemløse Studerende (Homeless Students), broke into Havremarken school in Nørrebro at around 6pm and attempted to turn it into a hall of residence.

But the illegal entry into the school was short-lived and the police arrested and released the protestors the same evening.

Lack of housing
In a press release the group said that they can no longer stand to see their friends give up on their future ambitions because of a lack of housing.

With record student numbers combined with Copenhagen’s rapidly expanding population, the pressure on cheap housing is increasing every year.

There are only around 65,000 designated cheap homes set aside for Denmark’s 250,000 students and in July the waiting list for student accommodation Copenhagen had some 9,000 names.

READ MORE: Students told to commute to studies

There is available housing outside the city, however, and some politicians have argued that students should be more willing to commute.

“Students may have to commute just like those in the labour market,” Socialdemokraterne's (S) housing spokesperson, Jan Johansen, told DR Nyheder, dismissing arguments that students perform better when they live near their studies. “Some people will have to commute in order to take their education because not everyone can live near their place of study. It is simply not possible.”

City Council pledges funding for housing
The City Council is attempting to address the issue, and a majority in the council are pushing to set aside 200 million kroner in next year’s budget to cover ten percent of the cost of building 1,065 new cheap homes for students and low-wage earners.

“In London and Paris, it’s almost impossible for ordinary wage earners to live in the city,” Mayor Frank Jensen (S) told Politiken newspaper. “That should not be the case for Copenhagen.”

Between 2011 and 2013, the City Council invested around 220 million in social housing. Jensen wants to build 9,000 new cheap homes by 2025.




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