Two government departments have written to all local authorities to highlight ‘critical’ need for student accommodation
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien and Further Education Minister Niall Collins issued a circular on Friday and comes after RedFM News highlighted how some students are being forced to stay in hostels or commute long distances due to a lack of affordable student accommodation.
The letter sent to the Councils says purpose built student accommodation should only be used by students during the academic year and should not be used for short-term lets indefinitely.
The two Departments are due to meet with universities over the coming days to discuss the issue.
Speaking to RedFM News, UCC Student Union President Asha Woodhouse says urgent action needs to be taken on the crisis facing students in securing accommodation:
“On an institutional level like I do think UCC has a role to play, but I do think the buck really stops with the government and our local authorities, you know, they have a responsibility to provide housing for people, people who have to live in cramped and shared accommodation, this kind of living is just like really detrimental thing long term and it just seems like it’s almost being accepted, heading towards being a norm now and I just think we really need to show that this isn’t acceptable and they need to act quickly to do something about it.”