Tuesday 23 October 2018

Students in protest over 27pc rent hike at Dublin residence

Communications Student Lauren Rossiter from Tipperary protests on Shanowen Rd near DCU. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Communications Student Lauren Rossiter from Tipperary protests on Shanowen Rd near DCU. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Katherine Donnelly and Kyle Ewald

DCU president Professor Brian MacCraith has called for regulations to deal with the "escalating and uncontrolled pricing" of the student housing sector.

Students of the Dublin university gathered outside Shanowen Square Student Residences yesterday to protest the 27pc rise in accommodation fees for the next academic year.

Rent at the complex has jumped up to a total cost of €8,695 for the academic year.

Prof MacCraith said: "Recent increases of up to 27pc on student accommodation by private providers are simply unacceptable."

He added: "The issue has the potential to limit the scale of future university investments and will inevitably result in increased rental costs for Irish and international students."

Student Lauren Rossiter said while the price hikes are steep, hard-up students are left with no option but to fork out. She said: "I think the rates are just so crazy.

"But at the same time, the fact is the rooms opened last week and they're all sold out because people just need somewhere to stay.

"So people are being forced to pay these rates.

"People have been talking this week about feeling like they have to drop out, they're commuting five hours a day, it's just taking away people's ability to go to college."

DCUSU Vice President for Welfare and Equality Podge Henry said the Students' Union wants to not only lower the prices of accommodation affecting students, but help enact legislation to prevent such price hikes across the country.

Meanwhile, President of the SCU Students' Union, Niall Behan, said: "It's a complete disgrace and we are going to get out here and show our support to all students affected by the accommodation crisis - it's a national problem.

"Why is it that tenants and the tenancy boards only allow a 4pc increase, but students are expected to fork up an extra 27pc?"

Representatives from Shanowen Square said they did not wish to comment at this time.

Irish Independent

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