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5,000 fewer student beds in private sector than four years ago - Rose Conway-Walsh TD

31 March, 2023 - by Rose Conway Walsh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Rose Conway-Walsh, has called for an explanation from government following the Residential Tenancies Board revelation that there are almost 5,000 fewer student beds registered in the private sector.

Teachta Conway-Walsh TD said:

“These are extremely alarming figures. Each year we see a worsening situation for students and parents scrambling to try and find accommodation they can afford.

“The RTB has confirmed that there are now only 23,557 student specific accommodation beds registered with them. This is down from 28,414 registered in 2019 and represents a decline of 4,837.

“I have raised this with Minister Harris in the Dáil and have written to the Housing Minister seeking urgent clarity on how these student beds have been allowed to leave the system.

“There were reports during the pandemic of purpose-built student accommodation changing into accommodation for tourists.

“Weak enforcement and a hands-off approach from successive governments have emboldened large student accommodation providers.  

“We have a growing population of college students and a shrinking number of student accommodation beds.

“Accommodation has become the biggest barrier to third-level education, and this particularly impacts students from rural areas.

“It is unacceptable for large student accommodation complexes to be given permission to change use.

“Students and parents need clarity from the Housing Minister on the level of student accommodation available in the private sector.”

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