‘Een kamer waarvoor je de huur gedeeltelijk betaalt in ‘natura’
‘Paying your rent partly ‘in kind.’
Remember your first student room? Remember how dirty it was? How tiny it was? How gezellig it was? How difficult it was to put your hands on a decent room? How much you had to work at a local bar/department store/ warehouse/etc. just to be able to afford your very own little filthy piece of heaven far away from parental control?
Personally, I adored my first student halls so much that I didn’t even notice the dead flies in the striplights and that the fact that I could merely make two steps (and only sideways) from one wall to the left didn’t bother me at all. I enjoyed cooking enormous improvised meals for me and my flatmates. I enjoyed overcrowded house parties in our common room that lasted until way into the wee hours. I got a kick out of carrying heavy bags of stinky laundry to the local launderette, while gossiping about the earlier mentioned house parties and I got much pleasure out of selling underwear and bathing suits (no, not mine – just the shop’s) over the weekends to pay towards the rent.
A secondary school in Den Haag found the perfect solution for diligent students looking for proper housing in the crowded center of Den Haag. The school offers accommodation to students who are prepared to pay a part of their rent by teaching at the Roemer Visscher College in the Moerwijk area.
The students are employed for eight hours per week and teach sports, homework support and specific subjects such as law, technology or languages in exchange for cheap, brand new and spacious accommodation.
The rooms, which will be ready in November, are very popular with students from the Haagse Hogeschool and the TU Delft. Twenty out of the 26 rooms have been rented out without any advertising. School director Karel Bun remarks that the school does not make any profit on the exploitation of the rooms, “dan had ik woningcorporatiedirecteur moeten zijn en geen schooldirecteur.’ (Then I should have been the director of a housing agency, not of a secondary school)