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‘No shoeboxes’: New guidelines for student rooms in Brussels-City

14:33 23/11/2021

Brussels-City has drafted a set of guidelines for offering student accommodation to prevent a lack of decent infrastructure and to ease pressure on the regular housing market. “Brussels is a proud student city,” said Ans Persoons, Brussels-City councillor for urban planning. “After Ixelles, we host the most students in the region.”

According to the guidelines, student rooms must be at least 12 square metres big and include a sink. There must be a separate kitchen and community space present for every 12 students, and there must be a toilet and shower for every three students. A building of flats housing more than 50 student rooms must also have a concierge on site and a recreation space.

The guidelines are based on a study carried out at the end of last year by that showed a need for more affordable student housing and that students like to live together in groups.

“Students deserve better than a shoebox somewhere in a basement,” said Persoons. “We are also encouraging the conversion of office buildings and hotels into student accommodation.”

What the municipality does not want is for private flats to be turned into student rooms. The guidelines, she says, “will ease the pressure on the rental market for individuals and families and protect housing against real estate speculation.”

Photo ©Justin Namur/BELGA


Written by Lisa Bradshaw