The student accommodation crisis rages on, as the cost of renting in Dublin continues to rise, jumping 12.3 per cent in the past year.
According to the latest Daft.ie rental report, the cost of renting in Dublin is now €4,000 a year higher than during the peak of the Celtic Tiger.
With widespread low availability in the private rented sector, students are competing with professionals who are often in a position to pay higher rents.
To tackle the crisis and take the pressure off the private sector, universities such as DCU have secured loans from the European Investment Bank to fund infrastructural improvements and develop more campus accommodation.
Plans for the construction of a further 560 student beds on the Glasnevin campus were outlined in the university’s Campus Development Plan in 2016.
The construction is timetabled to commence once the building of the new Student Hub and Stokes extension is completed. According to the university, a design team for the construction of the student accommodation will be appointed before Christmas.
A spokesperson for DCU said plans for an additional 260 beds are currently being examined which would bring the total on-campus capacity to 2,200.
The college is also looking at other potential options to increase the provision of additional beds above and beyond the 2,200 target but no timeframes have been mentioned.
The accommodation crisis is not exclusive to Dublin as places such as Galway city — where students make up twenty per cent of the population during term time — struggle to keep up with demand.
NUI Galway Students’ Union Welfare Officer, Megan Reilly, said the lack of rental space and purpose-built student accommodation means many students are settling for “inadequate living conditions as it’s the best they could find.”
NUI Galway recently received a loan of €60 million from the European Investment Bank for campus development which will include the creation of 900 additional student bed spaces.
According to the university, the construction of 430 beds has already commenced on the north campus and is due for completion in September 2018.
Image Credit: Mark Carroll