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27th Mar 2018

DCU write open letter to student apartments after rent rises to €10k for 9 months

'Anger and frustration'

Olivia Hayes

‘Anger and frustration’.

DCU Students’ Union has written an open letter to off-campus accommodation, saying it is shocked by the recent rent increases.

Accommodation in places such as Shanowen Square, Shanowen Hall and the Gateway Student Village have been around for many years now, but in recent times, rent has skyrocketed, making it completely unrealistic for students to live there.

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The letter began with: “DCU Students’ Union would like to convey our anger and frustration at the recent increase in accommodation prices, most notably in Shanowen Square, Shanowen Hall and Gateway Student Village.”

The letter continued: “We know too well the abhorrent financial pressures that have been imposed on Students in recent years. The increase in rents plays a part in a huge issue today that is the ever challenging life of a student.

“Education is becoming more of a commodity and access becoming limited to only those who can afford to pay huge amounts each year. These fees are crippling students, potentially their families and those who financially support them.

“We cannot stand by and watch as rents increase to almost €10,000 for a 9-month lease of an apartment. We urge these providers to review these extortionate increases of up to nearly 27 percent that will price many students out of access to this accommodation.”

The Students’ Union finished their letter by asking the off-campus accommodation to sit down and discuss a way forward, where everybody is happy.

Labour Party Education spokesperson, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has criticised student accommodation providers in Dublin for proposing sharp rent increases for student accommodation.

Senator Ó Ríordáin said: “The latest rent increases by private student accommodation providers will see privately-owned DCU student accommodation fees rise to over €10,000 for nine months.

“Charging students and their families from outside of Dublin over triple the annual college fee for student accommodation will deter many students of fulfilling long-term ambitions to study in DCU.

“We’ve heard many good news stories in the last week about making DCU more accessible, with it becoming the world’s first autism friendly campus, the notion that students who come from outside of Dublin to study there will essentially be priced out takes away from the good work on the university’s part to open up the campus.

“I fully support the views of DCU Students’ Union, who are resisting their fellow students as being seen as cash cows. These student accommodation providers cannot shirk their responsibilities to the students and the wider community of the Northside of Dublin.”