Bewonersoverleg Koepel SSH, abbreviated as BoKS, is the official tenants’ organisation for all tenants of housing association SSH and its subsidiary Jebber. BoKS is an association of local tenants’ committees that is concerned with the interests of all SSH and Jebber tenants. We represent over 17,000 students and others in Utrecht, Amersfoort, Bunnik, Zeist, Groningen, Maastricht, Tilburg and Rotterdam.
You can follow BoKS via this website and our social media (Facebook and Instagram), and our triannual newsletter, which every SSH and Jebber tenant receives via email. We stay in contact with our members (the local boards) through our General Assemblies and other thematic activities we organise. There is also a Facebook group for local tenants’ committees for informal communication between our members.
NB: BoKS is formerly known as ‘Algemeen bewonersoverleg Utrecht (ABOU)’. There are still references to our former name on other websites and official documents. ’
BoKS represents a variety of demographics:
Students, both Dutch and international, make up the largest group of tenants of SSH and Jebber. Representing the interests of our student tenants is our main concern. In our talks with SSH, Jebber and local authorities, we continually advocate for the provision of enough housing for all students in Utrecht and other university cities.
SSH rents most of its rooms with a so-called ‘campus clause’, which means that rooms can only be rented to persons that are enrolled at a university or a university of applied sciences. With the implementation of this form of contract, the availability of rooms for students only is guaranteed. Helping graduating students find accomodation in e.g. a ‘starters’ appartment’ from Jebber is of prime interest to us, so that the availability of student rooms does not stagnate.
SSH also provides accommodation to international exchange students. These rooms are usually furnished, rented for a maximum of twelve months and come with the so-called ‘short stay contract’. Representation of this group of tenants is not easy, mostly due to their brief stay. BoKS is continually working with SSH to improve the representation of this particular group of tenants.
The ‘starter’ (a Dutch word) is someone who has graduated somewhere in the past two years. This means they are no longer entitled to a student room, but their income is typically not high enough for renting accommodation on the private market. SSH and more so Jebber provide studios and apartments for this demographic.
SSH was originally a social housing provider, but nowadays focuses mainly on students and starters. A small group of non-students are still renting from SSH. This group is also represented by BoKS.