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  • Southside

UCD students slam campus rent hike

Tuesday, 11th February, 2020 8:00am
UCD students slam campus rent hike

Joanna Siewierska.

UCD students slam campus rent hike

Joanna Siewierska.

STUDENTS at UCD have slammed a recent decision by the university to increase the cost of on-campus accommodation rent.

The college’s Students’ Union claims the decision to increase campus rents by four per cent per year, for the next three years, was made by the University Management Team.

According to a spokesperson from the University Management Team, the rent hike was designed to “secure adequate funding for the maintenance of existing on-campus student accommodation and the provision of 3,000 new beds”.

However, the President of UCD’s Students’ Union, Joanna Siewierska, further claimed that there was “zero consultation with any student representatives” on the decision.

“We have had a conversation with the University Finance Department since it was communicated to us, and we will continue to meet and lobby management about it,” Ms Siewierska said.

She claimed that the rising price of rental accommodation is acting as a barrier to people accessing further education.

“This rent hike will certainly affect students who are living on campus,” said Ms Siewierska.

“Students and their families will be put under additional strain when budgeting to go to college, and it will mean anything from needing to work extra hours, or having to pause their studies entirely.”

The most expensive student accommodation rooms would increase from €8,815 a year to nearly €10,000 under the plans, while accommodation in the other student housing blocks on the Belfield campus would increase from €7,114 to €8,000 for the academic year.

Under current legislation aimed at tackling rising rents, such increases are capped at four per cent per year in rent pressure zones such as Dublin. 

In 2018, students from Dublin City University (DCU) staged protests against plans to raise rents by almost 30 per cent on privately owned student accommodation located beside the college.

According to the UCD spokesperson, the rent increases will be reviewed once three years are up, allowing them to potentially reduce the increases or freeze them if financially possible.

UCDSU were asking candidates in the General Election to respond to a worsening student housing crisis, by pledging to deliver affordable beds and a freeze on increasing campus rent.

The union is also demanding that steps are taken to support those students who would be the worst affected.

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