More state funding for student accommodation needed
Labour Senator Annie Hoey has backed the call of the President of UCC for more state funding of student accommodation in Budget 2024.
The Labour spokesperson on further and higher education has campaigned over many years for increased public investment in student housing to tackle the annual crisis, calling just 12 months ago for an extra €100m in funding for public student housing
Senator Hoey said “I agree with the President of UCC that the government must do more to solve the student housing crisis.
“Unfortunately for far too many students there simply won’t be decent and affordable housing available this autumn.
“This time last year I called for a dedicated package of €100 million in the Budget that would be invested every year in public student accommodation to once and for all address what is an annual crisis of both supply and affordability. A condition of public funding to higher education institutions is that the units should be provided on a cost rental basis.
“As I said earlier this week the rising cost of living is already putting a massive strain on students, and the lack of affordable accommodation is making it even harder for them to get by.
“The student accommodation crisis is as bad as ever. Many students are facing a year of torturous commutes, the prospect of having to live in overcrowded or substandard accommodation, or the prospect of dropping out of college altogether.
“Labour’s Renters’ Rights Bill would also introduce a rental transparency register which would be a huge help to students, and all renters, when safeguarding against scams. The register would enable prospective tenants of a property to see the rent paid by previous tenants. It’s certainly not a silver bullet but improving access to information in the rental market would be a huge step in the right direction.
“In the meantime, students need to be aware of the risks of rental scams and take steps to protect themselves. I advise students to contact their institution’s accommodation service and their students’ union when looking for accommodation.”