Newcomer Idealis adds over 5.000 rooms to ROOM
Wageningen student housing company Idealis is the new addition to the platform ROOM. Like the other provider DUWO, Idealis has many decades of experience in housing students. Created in 1957, the organization today is a socially responsible student housing company with 5,600 residences. Idealis considers the interests of the student and the affordability of living to be of paramount importance. At least 1,000 new rooms will be added in the coming years. And yes, they will also be on ROOM, "because ROOM is the place to be," says Sylvie Deenen, managing director of Idealis. In the interview below she tells us, among other things, about the motives for joining ROOM.
What is Idealis?
“Over 5,600 students and PhD students attending educational institutions in Wageningen or Ede are accommodated by Idealis. Our mission – to provide pleasant and affordable living - is central to everything we do. We have been doing this since 1957. As the world around us is constantly changing, we take into account a number of themes that are becoming increasingly important in our field of work, such as internationalization in higher education, the strong growth of Wageningen University & Research (WUR), and sustainability. As a socially responsible student housing provider, Idealis will also make a responsible contribution.
Idealis wants to realize at least 1,000 new rooms in 2019 – 2022, which we will then proudly publish on ROOM".
Which challenges do you see for students?
"The choices for students are difficult: what am I going to study and where? Am I going to stay at home or will I be moving into a student room? What does this mean for my student loan? How do I combine the high study pressure with my social life and part-time job?
As an organization, we are happy that we can contribute by providing nice places to live. A place to rest, but also a place to be together with other students".
Which challenges do you foresee for housing corporations and educational institutions?
"The biggest challenge for student housing is to ensure a sufficient amount of affordable housing and the sustainability of real estate. The same goes for Idealis. For many educational institutions, the challenge now lies in the consequences of growth and internationalization which have major consequences for the environment as well".
What added value does ROOM offer students?
"ROOM has many advantages for students. For example, when moving between cities you do not have to find out where you need to go for a reliable accommodation provider. Also, you can easily find a room that is affordable, where maintenance is well arranged, and where the landlord adheres to legal agreements such as security and other essentials.
Another advantage is that the student only has to pay one registration fee and can register from the age of sixteen. From that moment on, registration time is building up and the ROOM offer can be responded to within eight years".
What is the added value of ROOM for the (student) housing corporation?
"The interest of the student is our interest. Together with ROOM, we share our knowledge and skills and therefore we are able to invest less. That is always, of course, our aim; with this approach we keep the rents as low as possible. In addition, we are able to work more efficiently".
What was the decisive factor for Idealis to participate in ROOM?
"The added value for the student was our priority. In addition, we are a relatively small organization; therefore, it is much more efficient to work together with fellow housers for these kinds of processes. The national student housing corporations have been discussing collaboration possibilities for years and ROOM is a wonderful result of this. You can find all the social housing providers in one place. You can keep talking but, at some point, you just have to go for it; no guts, no glory....".
What would you like to tell parties which are considering participating as a provider for ROOM (benefits and learnings)?
"Place the student's interests first and don't be afraid to make concessions when it comes to your own interests and strategies. Collaboration can sometimes entail sacrifice, but if you keep the student as the starting point, the possibilities will be endless!
What is your wish for the future of ROOM?
"I hope ROOM will truly become a national platform for all social student housing providers. ROOM is the place to be!".
Photo: Sylvie Deenen in front of one of the newer Idealis complexes: Rijnveste.