Friday, 31st January 2020
THE RESPONSE TO THE STUDENT HOUSING CRISIS HAS BEEN ABYSMAL
CALLED BY UCD STUDENTS’ UNION PRESIDENT
Today, UCD Students’ Union President, Joanna Siewierska, has called on candidates seeking election to urgently respond to the student housing crisis, which is putting students in precarious situations and locking many students out of higher education.
Joanna Siewierska, President, UCD Students’ Union said;
‘We need an urgent response to the student housing crisis.’
‘If candidates are serious about providing equal and fair opportunities to people in Ireland, they have to ensure students can access higher education and have a safe and affordable place to live while they are studying.
‘The response to the student housing crisis has been abysmal. Encouraging private developers to deliver luxurious and extortionate student accommodation in Irish cities, completely unfit for the purpose of accommodating the average student in Ireland.
‘The private rental sector is not the answer to the student housing crisis. Rents in the private sector for shared rooms can vary from 450 to 650 euro per month, depending on proximity to college campuses. Single rooms can cost even more. Students and their families are being used to fill landlords’ pockets, while living in substandard accommodation and remaining under constant financial pressure.
‘On-campus student accommodation also prices out the vast majority of students. UCD is the largest university in Ireland, and with the most expensive on-campus accommodation in the country. Roebuck Castle accommodation, including meals, costs over eleven thousand for just two semesters.
‘The rent-a-room scheme accommodation (digs) is helping many students get a roof over their head while studying, however these arrangements provide zero protections to students. They can be told to leave overnight, they can be denied access to basic amenities in the house and have no rent security. We need regulation for digs-style accommodation, so it can be an option for students. It should complement a scheme to deliver affordable student rooms.’