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Student housing need must be addressed – Ellis

18 August, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson, Dessie Ellis TD, has said that the student housing needs have not been addressed by this government and that increased demand for housing in August and September will put further strain on the market and increase rents.

He made his comments following the release of the latest report on the rental market that found students face serious difficulty in finding affordable accommodation, as rents have risen by 9% this year alone.

Deputy Ellis said;

"Earlier this year I called on the government to meet with 3rd level institutions and the Union of Students in Ireland in order to draw up a strategy for student housing. Senator Kathryn Reilly also called on the government to address the issue. Unfortunately nothing has been done and tens of thousands of students across the state face real difficulty in finding housing now. Dublin alone is home to over 80,000 full time students, many of whom require housing but very little has been built to provide for them.

“This student housing shortage arises in the context of a much wider and severe shortage of affordable rental housing in Dublin and across the state. Rents have gone up by over 35% in Dublin since 2011, while rents outside of the capital have gone up by as much as 10% year on year. The tens of thousands of students in need of rental housing only puts more pressure on the market in this period, raising rents further and exacerbating the homelessness crisis also.

“The government must look at measures to support the provision of student housing, preferably on or near college campuses. It is irresponsible to invite thousands of students to a town or city unable to house them. We must also begin to seriously invest in social housing to take pressure off the rental housing market and to implement a system of fair rent regulation to stop rent rises which lead to increased homelessness and poorer housing conditions."

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