Thursday, 24 June 2021
UCD STUDENTS’ UNION SAYS IT IS TOO EARLY TO CELEBRATE THE €75M SECURED FOR CAMPUS ACCOMMODATION
Molly Greenough, Welfare Officer, UCD Students’ Union said;
‘The recent news that the government secured a €75m loan to construct purpose-built student accommodation is welcomed, but it is far too early to celebrate. While the funding has the potential to be transformative for student renters across the country, it equally has the potential to just be dumped into constructing outlandishly expensive student accommodation that only the wealthiest of students can afford. UCD has had this policy for the past 10 years and it is not likely to change without strict parameters being set by the government.
Increasing the supply of student accommodation is undoubtably necessary. However, it will also serve as a misguided attempt to resolve the housing crisis if it is not affordable. Students do not want luxury accommodation that they cannot afford. It is time for universities to stop price gouging students. We cannot risk this funding going towards more UCD-style, double-bed, ensuite accommodation, where students will be forced to pay upwards of €14,000 a year to live on campus. UCDSU is calling on the government to demonstrate their commitment to constructing adequate and affordable purpose-built student accommodation with a cost-rental approach.’
Ruairí Power, President, UCD Students’ Union said;
‘UCD has completely failed to build affordable accommodation on campus. The average student from a middle-income or low-income background and especially students from outside of Dublin have been locked out of studying at UCD. We need to start having an honest conversation about this. Accommodation prices have risen by 118% in UCD in the past 10 years. Students and their families have not seen an increase on this level to their wages – how are they expected to keep up with these soaring costs?
Charging over €14000 for a 9-month stay is extortionate, with the cheapest accommodation on campus coming in at a staggering €8,000. Last year when UCD announced annual increases of 4% in campus rents, students rightly reacted with protests and demonstrations. If UCD refuses to listen to students and families who are being impacted by discriminatory pricing plans, we need the Government to take action and set stringent design criteria for purpose-built student accommodation on campuses.
We have enough luxury accommodation for the wealthiest students. It is not what the average student wants or can afford. We want a bed and a desk and outside of that we are happy to share facilities. UCD is being run as a business. It is high time that the Government stands up and intervenes for students who are currently being locked out of education, purely because they cannot afford to line the pockets of a public institution.’