NUI Galway Students’ Union is today encouraging members of the Oireachtas to vote in favour of the Student Accommodation Bill before the Dáil.
The amendment would give students living in student-specific accommodation, under licence, access to the Residential Tenancies Board and inclusion in the rent pressure zones.
The current situation has resulted in students rents rising, in some instances, by 18% per annum.
Until this issue is legislated for, students of NUI Galway can neither budget nor plan for their future as they have no certainty regarding the level of rent that they will be paying.
In Cúirt Na Coiribe, rents increased by a shocking 18% between 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Speaking on the issue today, Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh, Students’ Union President said: “This Bill is an encouraging step by members of the Dáil to recognise and rectify the legal loophole which allows for students, some of the most financially vulnerable in Ireland, to be the ones exposed and exploited to the most insidious rent increases year on year.
“A study on the 8 main purpose built student accommodations in Galway carried out by NUI Galway Students’ Union has found that whilst student rent had remained relatively static from the period of 2009 to 2014, it has since increased by an average of 35% between 2014/15 to 2018/19.
“At a time when the government recognises the need to protect the right to education, the lack of affordable and protected accommodation dilutes this right for those who simply can’t afford it. NUI Galway is a University comprised of students from all across the island of Ireland and the world.
“We cannot become an elitist University only accessible to those who can afford to absorb the ever rising cost of rent.”