Latest Laois News: Local TD blasts Student Accommodation as too expensive and hard to get
“Student accommodation remains too expensive, too unregulated and too difficult to obtain,” Carol Nolan.
Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan has welcomed a circular issued by the Department of Housing to the chief executives of all local authorities on the ‘critical need’ for purpose-built student accommodation to be available to meet the needs of students in third-level education.
Deputy Nolan was speaking after the Union of Students of Ireland (USI) confirmed that many students are having to defer college places because of a chronic lack of accommodation:
“While I welcome the circular issued by the Department of Housing, it is also clear that the problems around student accommodation should not have taken this long to address.
We know, in fact, that the issues confronting students today are essentially the same as those that have been flagged since at least the 2015-16 academic year-which is to say that there is an ever deepening lack of supply that is driving rents through the roof.
This has resulted in public accommodation costing on average €680.94, with the average for private purpose-built accommodation being €980.
In areas where prices are too high for students and their working parents, accommodation remains empty as providers sit and wait rather than lower their prices.
What remains in the private rental sector, whether it be digs or house shares, can often be hit or miss for students, with many landlords not being registered with the RTB. This in turn can leave students with little or no statutory protections if things go wrong.
If nothing else, it is a matter of financial self-interest for third-level institutions to find ways to offer rooms at cost basis or as close as.
Failure to do so will simply erode future income streams while denying students the critically important opportunity of being able to take up a college place that they will have worked incredibly hard to achieve.
It is also a matter of national self-interest for Government and Local Authorities to do all that they can to bring forward realistic and pragmatic options such as purpose-built student accommodation.
The country needs an educated workforce.
So, in that sense, the future of student accommodation is an issue that will help shape all of our futures, which is yet another reason why it must be more effectively tackled,” concluded Deputy Nolan.