Tipperary TD says the Government must act to stop student accommodation crisis ‘spiralling out of control’
Tipperary Independent TD Michael Lowry has said the Government must act to stop issues with student accommodation from spiralling out of control.
He said the Government must prioritise purpose-built student accommodation and that he supported the Student Union of Ireland's call for legislation to protect students.
Mr Lowry said an inability to find accommodation was leading to stress for students and their families.
"Tipperary students and their families, just like those right across the country, are at their wits end searching for a place to live to enable them to study in Universities and Colleges across the country this Autumn.
"Those still awaiting their Leaving Cert results are in complete despair as they remain uncertain as to where they may need to live. Therefore they cannot even begin to search for a place to live to allow them to make the move to Third Level Education. Many despair that they may not be able to take up a College offer regardless of their results," said Mr Lowry.
Mr Lowry said students who do find accommodation find it too expensive and some accommodation ringfenced for students is not currently available.
Some he said have already paid a deposit only to find out later the accommodation was unavailable.
"The demand for rental accommodation for every sector of society has reached unprecedented levels. For students, who live on a very limited budget, even the most basic accommodation, if it becomes available, has gone beyond their reach. Many literally have nowhere to live as the new semester fast approaches.
"As the vast majority of suitable and previously affordable accommodation for students is privately owned, landlords are now able to command a higher price for their properties on the open market due to increased demand for housing. This cuts students out completely as, even with the highest Education Grants available to them, they cannot meet the cost of the rents currently being demanded. Many families are not in a position to subsidise their children's accommodation costs at this time," said Mr Lowry.
Mr Lowry said student accommodation was being to used to house Ukrainian families in need during the summer, but now it has 'compounded' the student's problems coming into the Autumn semester.
He reiterated his call on the Government to build more student accommodation.
"The entire area of providing purpose-built and affordable student accommodation must be a priority for Government in the upcoming term. So to must the protection of students to ensure that this accommodation remains solely for their use and guarantees them a place to live.
"These young people are the future of our country. They are entitled to an education and to the facilities that enable them to achieve this," concludes Mr Lowry.
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