The space in student dormitories is limited, while apartment rent is too expensive for many. It is difficult to find offers for students in Rīga, said Rūdolfs Aleksandrs Strods, president of the Latvian Students Union.
“The price increase in Riga is indeed a big problem. This stems from a lack of total living area. Rental prices aren't likely to fall in the near future. This means that this situation needs to be addressed quite acutely,” Strods said.
Problems with finding a place of residence could be mitigated by an international project carried out by the European Student Housing Fund managed by the Lithuanian investment fund I Asset Management. This fund builds a residential complex for students in Torņakalns, and a similar one in Vilnius. More than €11 million has been allocated by Citadele bank to build the two complexes.
"In Latvia and the Baltic, we see a very high demand for high-level student dormitories that meet European standards. This funding of six million for dormitories in Torņakalns is a step forward to develop a new real estate segment in Latvia that is significantly lacking here,” pointed out the head of the Citadele private service administration Jānis Mūrnieks.
The building will have single and double apartments that will allow around 300 people to be housed. The project will not solve problems with student accommodation, but the overall situation will improve, said Strods of the Latvian Students Union. The price for the room rent has not yet been disclosed by those responsible. This is worrying for students.
Rīga Stradiņš University lecturer Anželika Berķe-Berga said that the project is overall a positive step. However, the rent might be costly.
“It's like a bonus because such projects help to improve and sort out the city's infrastructure. In general, we also benefit economically. It also boosts exports of our education services because we have access to such high-end apartments. Many students come to us to study from the countries of the European Union, for whom this comfort is essential,” Berzal-Berga said.