Saturday 21 April 2018

Students stage 'sleep-out' at accommodation complex in protest over 27pc rent hike

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
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Students at Dublin City University (DCU) are staging a 'sleep-out' outside student accommodation tonight to protest the 27pc rise in accommodation fees for the next academic year.

At 4pm today, the students will be marching from DCU to Shanowen Residence in protest of the increasing fees.

Students will be sleeping outside the gates of the premises overnight claiming "if we cannot afford to sleep in Shanowen we will sleep outside Shanowen".

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

DCU Students' Union President Niall Behan said that the 'sleep-out' is in response to the lack of comment from Shanowen.

"The campaign has gained 18,000 signatures on the petition, the support of the USI and every Students' Union in the country and dozens of politicians and Irish influencers.

"The accommodation was purpose built for student housing so therefore the developers received grants and tax breaks in order to make it affordable," Mr Behan said.

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

"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."

DCU SU and Students are calling for the total reversal of these increases and for the creation of legislation to protect students from being exploited further in the future.

Independent.ie has contacted Shanowen for comment.

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