How bad is the student housing situation in Stockholm? How do you increase your odds of getting an offer through KI Housing? What can you do while you wait for the reply from KI housing? What to do in case all of the above fails? What worked for me?
How bad is the student housing situation in Stockholm?
According to recent estimates, the need for student housing in Stockholm surpasses the current capacity by around 12,000. As a result, a large number of students, especially newcomers, are forced to look for other alternatives.
In response to the growing shortage of student housing, a project called Sthlm6000+ was initiated with the goal of putting a roof over the heads of 6000 additional students in Stockholm by the end of 2017.
KI housing is also building new student residences in Solna which are expected to be completed by the fall semester 2018. The project encompasses three new buildings with a capacity for 400 KI students.
Applying for KI housing early and listing as many alternatives as possible in the application form increases your odds of getting an offer
The great thing about KI housing is that it only requires filling out an application form while somebody else does the actual work for you. On the downside, only fee paying students are guaranteed to receive an offer (for a year) and offers are usually sent out around 6-8 weeks before the official start of the semester. Therefore, unless you’re a fee paying student you might not want to put all your eggs in the KI housing basket.
While you wait for the reply from KI housing I recommend you do the following 4 steps:
STEP 1: Start queuing for SSSB housing before you come to KI
In order to make full use of SSSB you will need to wait until you’re registered for your program at KI and apply for a student union membership. However, you can get up to 90 days before the start of the autumn semester. Chances are you won’t be able to get a room, but those 90 “extra” queue days will save you 3 months of queuing at some point!
Regardless of the expected outcome of your KI Housing application, you will need to sign up for SSSB housing at some point since KI Housing is only offered to first year students.
STEP 2: Join facebook groups for finding (student) accommodation in Stockholm
The best indicator of just how huge the housing shortage in Stockholm is, is seeing 20+ replies to an ad that was posted half an hour ago on one of the facebook groups. When posting your own ad try not to include a douchey pic of yourself – you’re not on Tinder for homeless.
Beware of scams! Don’t give into desperation and sign a contract without seeing the room / flat first and at least having a skype meeting with your future landlords / roommates. Remember that these are the people you’ll be living with.
Accommodation in Stockholm:
STEP 3: Let everyone know about your quest for a roof over your head
Reach out to any family, friends and acquaintances you might have in Stockholm and ask them to keep an eye out for affordable accommodation. With a bit of luck, they might just have a friend looking for a flatmate.
STEP 4: Post an ad on Blocket
Blocket, basically a Swedish version of craigslist, is the go-to place for finding pretty much anything. Check for new ads daily and don’t be afraid to try to negotiate the specified terms. Things aren’t necessarily set in stone – unless it’s fossils we’re talking about…
PS: Don’t let the fact that the website is in Swedish discourage you. Just use google translate lol
What to do in case all of the above fails?
Ideally, applying for KI Housing and following the steps I suggested will have secured you a place to stay. Should that not be the case, worry not cause I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve! Here goes:
Trick 1: Couchsurfing
Trick 2: Airbnb
Trick 3: Hostels
Trick 4: Buy an apartment
I know what you’re thinking, but I actually know people who’ve done all four things, so don’t be too quick to discard them.
What worked for me?
Obviously, I’ve looked into all alternatives listed above. As a guy, finding accommodation was a bit harder – even in a country like Sweden, since a large number of ads explicitly state that they’re looking for female tenants.
Three and a half months of relentless search and God knows how many desperate facebook requests sent later, I finally got a place to stay at! I lived with a lovely Swedish/Danish couple in an amazing apartment in the southern suburbs of Stockholm for seven months. In the meantime I kept accumulating days on SSSB and as luck would have it, a month and a half ago I managed to get a corridor room really close to KI!
However challenging the accommodation hunt in Stockholm might be, you will prevail!
Contact me via:
LinkedIn: Nikola Mastilovic