Studying in Venice Gets More Expensive. LISC: “Student residences don’t help the city”

The new student housing campus at San Giobbe
The LISC Collective calls on Universities to subsidize rentals in private residences, calling new student housing complexes “an alienating model…that divides students and residents”

By Maria Ducoli

17 August 2022

VENICE. There are 2652 students in Venice – 8% of the entire population of the Municipality of Venice, mainland and islands included, but only around 1208 beds available in the school residences and in those affiliated with Ca’ Foscari and IUAV. And so there are many difficulties finding a place to stay, especially for students who are not included in the ESU lists.

Studying in Venice is a luxury from every point of view. While finding an apartment has become increasingly difficult since the waves of tourists have resumed arriving regularly in the Lagoon, the prices of some of the most promoted residences are often unapproachable, comparable to the those at five-star hotels.

A single room in Ca’ Foscari’s campus in Santa Mara this coming September will cost those who did not win the ESU competition from 700 to 900 euro – a double, 550 euro.

The LISC Collective, long committed on the front of housing as a true right to the city and its services, has registered its disapproval of the situation. “Since the pandemic, prices have become less accessible. We want the Universities to implement residential policies that help students find apartments, not to cram them into state of the art facilities” commented the Collective’s Eleonora Sodini.

Housing – explains Sodini – is the cornerstone upon which to build a future, and the difficulty in finding housing in Venice prevents young people from being able to settle – or even just to think about it – in the Lagoon in the years after they graduate. In fact, the Collective is opposed to the university residences, which we define as an “alienating model, an ivory tower from which one never need leave because all the necessary services are inside, a model that contributes to the divide between citizens and students”.

The just inaugurated campus at San Giobbe, opened last 14 December, seems to correspond to the ivory tower described by the LISC Collective. With a bar and gym, the campus has been at the center of various controversies and complaints made by San Giobbe residents.

During the structure’s first autumn the leaks arrived almost before the students. To those problems were added other problems, from the management’s raising the price for cleaning from 65 to 100 euro, to the tragicomic situation with the refrigerators: private ones are for pay only, and the common refrigerators have to be emptied by evening.

In addition to the campuses on the American model, there are many affiliated residences present on Venetian soil, mostly connected to the Pastorale Universitaria. Among the most spacious is the one at Santa Fosca, with 100 beds, along with the Gesuiti, both for boys and girls. For female students it is certainly easier to find a room in a residence, given the high number of structures that are exclusively for women.

In short, there is not a lack of choices: “What is lacking are housing models that facilitate integration between students and residents” reiterates the LISC representative. Concretely, the Collective is asking that the Universities and the Municipality favor the rental of buildings in the historic center to young people. Without a home how can they stay here and repopulate Venice?

Source: La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre

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