Risks development stop

On 7 November, the closing date for applications for government funding went out. Now, unless the applications from the Foundation for Student Life in Oslo are granted, they may have to stop the development projects they have planned.


– Whether we receive government funding or not will not be reflected in our rental prices, said Ketil Sand, real estate executive of the Foundation of Student Life in Oslo (SiO).

He feels that this year it is SiO’s turn to have their applications granted, considering the enormous pressure on student housing this autumn. He also points out that SiO did not receive any grants last year.

This year, SiO has applied for 203 student apartments in the already completed project Pilestredet park, and 130 apartments at Vestgrensa 2, a project that has not yet begun. Sand emphasises that SiO depends on the government’s financial support in order to be able to finish their plans.

– Worst case scenario is that the development of Vestgrensa 2 is postponed.

If all goes well, however, the development can start as quickly as next autumn and be completed in 2008. Sand explains that it normally takes two to three years from a development project is planned until it is finished.

– Thus, it is difficult to plan ahead when the circumstances are so unpredictable, he said.

Head of Administration at SiO, Lisbeth Dyrberg, hopes that their arguments will lead to a positive result.

– SiO’s students need more places to live. The waiting lists from this autumn have proved that.

Dyrberg explains that another reason why SiO needs to build more apartments is the many international students who want to live at SiO’s student apartments.

When it comes to the much debated apartments at Pilestredet park, Sand promises that a refusal with not lead to an additional raise in rents.

– We have previously stated that we will lower the prices if we receive government funding, but in either case, the prices will not exceed the general price inflation, Sand said.

Per Carlenius, Head of Administration at Anker STI, which among other things manage Anker Studentboliger, explains that they too depend on government funding. Anker Studentboliger applied for an additional 130 student apartments this year, in addition to the 1500 apartments they already have. Around 40 per cent of their tenants are students from BI, while almost 20 per cent is from the University of Oslo.

– We cannot build a single meter without government funding. Naturally, we wish that it had been possible to solve the problem without turning to the government, but unfortunately, that isn’t the way it works.

Head of real estate in Oslo- og Akershushøgskolenes Studentsamskipnad (OAS), Geir Sundt, states that they are already in danger of losing 204 student apartments in Kirkeveien.

– We are already at the bottom when it comes to contribution ratio. This, as well as being situated in one of the most difficult areas of the market when it comes to development space and costs, ought to put us at the top of the priority list, Sundt said. OAS has applied for 86.5 student apartments at Carl Berner, in addition to 50 apartments which are now being built at Ila.

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