The road from secondary school to college is not a simple journey but one issue continues to cause significant road blockages for future students - rent.
The Government, after students have been legislating for rental caps for the last number of years, have finally introduced legislation to prevent rises in rent for purpose-built student accommodation.
Prices for some student residences have risen by 15% for next year in some areas of Dublin and cities around the country. This was brought to national attention most notably by the Shanowen and Cúirt Shakedown campaigns after accommodation providers for DCU and NUIG students respectively introduced massive rental increases. Both Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin introduced private members’ motions in the Dáil seeking to cap rent for purpose-built student accommodation.
There is currently some 7,000 student beds being constructed in various residences around the country and another 7,000 have been granted planning permission.
Questioned by the press after a Cabinet meeting in Kerry, Leo Varadkar agrees with the Opposition and understands that the matter cannot be ignored as prices are astronomical. Varadkar showed concern that if they enforce strict legislation developers may stop building the accommodation but will work over the summer to implement new legislation:
So we agreed to do two things. First of all, to promote digs and the rent-a-room schemes where there is a lot of supply and also to work over the summer on legislative proposals to limit the increases in the price of student accommodation. We’ll work over the summer on legislation, in some way, helping to limit the increases in student accommodation so we don’t next year see the kind of increases in prices that we saw this year.