This crisis is a direct result of a failed student housing policy

The government is refusing to act on the student accommodation crisis, according to Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan T.D

“There are reports of students sleeping in cars, packed into hostel dorms, couch-surfing, commuting for up to five hours per day. Others are dropping out. This is horrendous. It needs to be at the top of the Minister’s agenda.

“The Taoiseach’s comments that this crisis can’t be solved overnight are an attempt to evade responsibility. It also ignores the fact that this crisis has built up over several years. Today’s No Keys No Degrees protest is not the first USI protest on this issue. Year after year, students have told the Government that there is a huge problem with affordable student accommodation. Nothing was done.

“Over the last year, more than 1,000 purpose-built student accommodation places in Dublin have been converted to short term tourist lets. This must stop. These applications should not have been approved. The Housing Minister must immediately issue planning guidelines to ensure that any new applications, to take purpose-built student accommodation off the market, are rejected.

“The shortage of affordable student accommodation is not an accident. It is a direct result of a failed student housing policy that has relied on private providers. This must change. We need to see urgent and effective action. Higher Education Institutes must be supported to directly provide affordable accommodation for their students.

“Spiralling student rents must be brought under control. The Minister’s attempts to curb sky-rocketing rents, by linking them to inflation, have already failed. He must introduce what the Social Democrats have long called for – a three-year ban on rent increases.”

23 September, 2021


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