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DTU hopes to solve housing crisis

The Technical University of Denmark is building a residential complex of 312 studio apartments catering to international students in north Copenhagen.

The new housing will be build on DTU's Lyngby campus in north Copenhagen. Photo: DTU

Housing must be within a 30-minute radius from campus

Plumbing and underfloor heating is installed into the prefabricated buildings, which will then be delivered to DTU’s campus in Lyngby. The buildings are expected to be ready for their first residents by early 2019.

“Lack of affordable housing is a challenge for Danish and international students”

Mikael Hyttel Thomsen, director of the Housing Fund DTU, said the project does not solve the lack of student accommodation, but is a “small step in the right direction”.

According to Thomsen, DTU can by law not finance or build student houses, and therefore established Boligfonden DTU, a foundation seeking to build for international students, guests and staff related to DTU.

“Affordable housing in the Greater Copenhagen area is difficult to find as it is in any other capital and major university cities,” he told The PIE News.

“There are of course individual preferences, but it is our perception that students don’t care whether they live on campus or in the city as long as the transport to and from campus doesn’t exceed 30 minutes.”

There is a general lack of affordable housing for both Danish and international students in the vicinity of the university’s campuses, he said.

“Boligfonden DTU continues its indefatigable work to increase the amount of affordable and suitable housing in a radius of 30-minutes from DTU’s major campuses.”

Construction time is optimised as the buildings are made prior to arriving on site, but are still a “good and solid product that can handle the Danish climate,” according to Thomsen.

He added that housing on campus represents only small percentage of overall housing, and much of the accommodation for international students are located in residential areas off-campus.

Boligfonden DTU previously teamed up with Danish pension fund, PensionDanmark, in 2016 to build affordable accommodation for Danish and foreign students on the university campus.

“Lack of affordable housing is a major challenge for both Danish and international students. Boligfonden DTU work is to remedy a subset of the housing problem for international students and guests who do not have a network in Denmark,” Thomsen said.

In 2017, 874 exchange students and 728 international MSc students were admitted to DTU, according to its website.

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