Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue says continued Government inaction has led to a serious escalation of the student accommodation crisis.
Deputy McConalogue made the comments following reports that a study commissioned by the Higher Education Authority has confirmed that there is a significant shortage of suitable accommodation for students.
“For the third year in a row many students are finding it impossible to find suitable accommodation due to a combination of rising rents and a severe shortage of supply. Unfortunately this trend is set to continue due to persistent Government inaction on this crisis.” said Deputy McConalogue.
“I am calling on the Government to publish the report undertaken by the Higher Education Authority without any further delay. I raised this matter directly with Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan last April and was assured that the report would be published in a matter of weeks. We are now fast approaching August and there is still no sign of the report being published by the Minister.
“The accommodation crisis has been escalating year on year since this Government came to power, yet no decisive action has been taken to increase supply and allow students have access to affordable and suitable accommodation. The lack of available accommodation for students is acting as a major barrier for students who want to progress their education and this cannot be tolerated.
“Measures need to be put in place to incentivise the development of student accommodation, both on and off campus, in order to increase the level of supply available to students. The HEA have pointed out that student numbers are set to continue increasing in the years ahead which will further escalate the accommodation crisis. Forward planning is needed to ensure the demand for accommodation is met.”