Student accommodation to become co-living spaces

Student accommodation complexes in Dublin may be temporarily converted and used as co-living spaces, according to Dublin City Council.

The council said that the temporary use would be “appropriate” due to the changes universities made by universities for the upcoming academic year in order to combat Covid-19, such as moving most lectures online.

These new changes to student life could possibly decrease the number of students moving into Dublin for their studies.

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union (TCDSU) have both condemned Dublin City Councils plan to temporarily convert the student accommodation into a co-living complex.

In a written answer to Cllr Darragh Moriarty for the South West Inner City, the Dublin City Council said: “in anticipation of a decrease in occupancy levels and having regards to the ongoing housing crisis, it is considered appropriate to consider a temporary change of use of this high quality accommodation to co-living, pending the return of the third level colleges/universities to more traditional teaching arrangements and student numbers.”

The council also said that the majority of student accommodation schemes in Dublin City have the advantage of being closely located to public transport systems and significant employment locations, which is an ideal location for the co-living scheme.

Although the co-living schemes have similar characteristics to student accommodation, “any change of use would require planning permission”, the council added.

These co-living complexes have higher minimum standards than student accommodation. Therefore converting the existing student accommodation into co-living spaces would require altered floor plans and a lower occupancy level.

Shauna Burdis

Image Credit: Joy Nwagiriga