There are very expensive houses and relatively cheap social rental homes.

But where in Utrecht is there room for the middle class?

Teachers are fleeing the city because there are hardly any suitable housing.

"The teacher shortage is only getting worse."

This article comes from AD Utrechts Nieuwsblad.

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Teacher Maike Thönissen (46) came to Utrecht from the east of the country in the 1990s for her studies.

She moved in together in Utrecht, bought a house in Wittevrouwen and had children there.

But the tide turned five years ago.

She divorced her then partner and was not registered for a home.

"You don't think: I'll sign up if things go wrong."

She had to find a home in a hurry, but that turned out not to be so easy on her own as a freelance teacher.

She eventually found a flat on Lamérislaan in Tuindorp-Oost.

"The first year I was satisfied with that. Just settle down quietly. But I come from the countryside and have always thought: nice to the city, but I don't want to be found dead in a flat. And now I have been living here for five years. "

Sad and discouraged

Thönissen, who works at Het Schateiland in Kanaleneiland and De Achtbaan in Leidsche Rijn, feels he has failed.

"You envision a life in a nice house, where you can offer your children a nice place. It feels like failure to live in an apartment. Sad, discouraged, it makes you feel. I can't even buy a house. "

And that while she can actually get a high mortgage as a single mother.

She is looking for a house for 3.5 to 4 tons.

At the moment she already pays 1200 euros exclusive in rent, which she prefers to put in stones.

"But I can't find anything suitable in my price range. And it is also very normal to outbid 60 to 70 thousand euros. Otherwise you have no chance of success anyway. Only Utrechters understand what I mean."

Maike Thornissen is a freelance teacher and self-employed person.

In Tuindorp Oost in Utrecht, she pays a sky-high rent.

Maike Thornissen is a freelance teacher and self-employed person.

In Tuindorp Oost in Utrecht, she pays a sky-high rent.

Photo: Ruud Voest

Walls are closing in on her

She has been watching Funda for four years, but the desire has increased since corona.

The walls of her flat are literally closing in on her.

She prefers to live in a neighborhood close to the center of Utrecht, she does not want to go to Kanaleneiland or Overvecht.

"That may sound spoiled, but then I prefer to leave the city, towards De Bilt for example."

It doesn't really go further than that, because she wants to stay close to her ex-partner for the children.

Still it is not possible to find anything.

That feels very unfair, she thinks.

"I think there are still pieces of land on which housing projects could be built. And I think that teachers and other crucial professions should be given priority. Especially with the teacher shortage now, that seems important to me. Make sure that the teachers do not leave the city. but stay. "

Struggle

And that is precisely Ronald Roovers' struggle.

The director of Het Schateiland primary school regularly sees them leave: young colleagues who want to start a family, but cannot buy anything in Utrecht.

"Last January one teacher left for Steenwijk, and another one for Goes this summer. They did look here, but you just cannot intervene. It is a shame, because replacements are not waiting 1-2-3 in line. The teacher shortage is only growing. but bigger on. "

The solution?

Roovers sighs.

"I don't know very well either. Yes, a lot of extra construction. But that takes years. Perhaps the salaries of teachers could be increased a bit. They cannot borrow much more than 3 thousand euros. But you really don't buy a house for that in Utrecht. . "

Research platform Pointer conducted research into the housing shortage in Utrecht. The episode can be seen tonight at 22.20 on NPO2.