The situation in Amsterdam

Interested in going to Amsterdam? Before moving here, we would like to point out a few things about housing in Amsterdam that are often not easy to find online. Unfortunately, the housing situation in Amsterdam is very alarming. Finding a room here is extremely hard and very expensive, making it (almost) impossible to find suitable housing.

Amsterdam currently has a huge housing problem: according to research from the National Student Union,  Kences, and Vastgoed Belang, the shortage of housing in Amsterdam alone is currently at a peak of 12.000 houses. This means that 12.000 students can’t find a suitable place to live. For context, the total number of students in Amsterdam is about 120.000. Thus, 10% of these students are practically homeless, or forced to live with their parents, if they are Dutch. The UvA itself now even expresses that they ‘can’t handle it anymore’.

This problem is neither new, nor likely to go away any time soon. In 2016, media already reports that hundreds of students were homeless. They had to live with friends, in hostels, campings, etc. For the future, shortages are predicted to rise even more in the upcoming years. Building is not going quick enough, and other creative solutions have not helped enough. Even registering via UvA housing is not a full-proof method: there have been students who could not be helped and received an email about this only a few weeks before the academic year started. Finding a house on your own is not easy: there have been instances of students who did 35 hospi’s (visitations) and still wasn’t successful.  First, the competition is very harsh: often at least 50 people react to the same room, but it can be as much as 300. Second, lots of rooms are ‘Dutch Only’: only Dutch people can live here, thus the number of places is even more limited. For you as an international it is thus even harder to find a place than for Dutch students.     

Another problem is that students who arrive via UvA Housing only get their first year accommodated. In the second year, you are on your own again. The public sector has waiting lines of a few years (!) and you need a really high budget if you want to find something on the private market. Rooms of a few squared metres for 600 euros are not the exception, they are the rule.  Especially since the inflation of this year, rooms for about 800 to 1000 euro are very common.    

We would like to ask you to keep all of this in mind when moving to Amsterdam. It is not fully impossible to find a room, but you really need to be aware of the difficulties, and keep in mind that it is a very likely possibility that you will not find a room. We at ASVA also cannot help you with finding a room, we only have some tips that you can find in our ‘How to find a room guideline’. If you have any further questions or problems concerning housing, please contact