Monday August 26th
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) today joined with member Students’ Unions in Dublin to call for intervention and action, on the escalating student accommodation crisis facing students and their families in finding suitable accommodation for college.
Last week’s Daft.ie report showed a drop off in properties available to rent in Dublin from 4,212 in August 2012 to a mere 2,394 this year. This represents a massive drop off from figures of over 8,500 just a few short years ago.
This has also led to a spike in the cost of accommodation for those fortunate enough to find a suitable place, with average rental prices in the capital increasing by 7.5% since last year.
Aisling Ni Chonaire (TCD SU Accommodation Advisory Service), said:
“Many students are in an absolute bind coming to college for the first time or returning to college this year. Student residences have been reaching near capacity since June this year, with many returning students opting to hold their places for the following year.
This serious shortfall is leaving so many vulnerable students, many of which are entirely new to Dublin and Ireland, feeling completely stranded”.
Joe O’Connor, President of the Union of Students in Ireland, said:
“The shortfall in accommodation in Dublin has seen two extremely negative knock-on effects for students.
Many landlords are choosing not to rent to students given the huge increase in demand and limited supply, with many of those who would previously have sought a mortgage now entering the rental market.
In a desperate attempt to find a suitable place to live, many students are being forced to pay over the odds for their accommodation, with no choice but to settle at exploitative prices. This adds to the huge financial burden already placed on students attending third-level and their families.
We are calling on the Government to look at the development of purpose-built city centre student accommodation to ease this situation in the long-term. This situation will only continue to escalate with the development of the new DIT Grangegorman campus. Empty dwellings currently under the control of NAMA now need to also be actively considered.
Finally, this further strengthens the case for the protection of the student maintenance grant and student supports in October’s Budget.
As the cost of college continues to become more and more difficult to bear for families, Minister Quinn must not impose any further hits to their already stretched budgets”.
Joe O’Connor, USI President
Tom Lenihan, TCD Students’ Union President
Glenn Fitzpatrick, DIT Students’ Union President
James Duffy, NCI Students’ Union President
Glenn O’Brien, IT Tallaght Students’ Union President
Jason Aughney, IT Blanchardstown Students’ Union President
For more information contact USI Communications & Research Executive Grainne O’Reilly on 087-6776636, or 01-9052100