The decision to increase campus rents by 4% year on year for the next 3 years, and a premium of €1,000 on average for the 1,000 newly built student bedrooms, has sparked outrage amongst students.
In an open letter addressed to UCD President Andrew Deeks, UCD Students’ Union have called for the “immediate retraction of the decision to increase on-campus rents” as well as a reduction of the rents to “bring it in line with the average cost of on-campus accommodation in higher education institutions in Ireland”
The next meeting of the University Management Team (UMT) will take place on Tuesday 18th of February. The SU have asked Deeks to reverse the rent hike at the meeting, citing figures which show UCD has the most expensive rent on any campus in Ireland. The average rent on campus is €975 a month, and €8,778 over nine months. If the rent hikes go ahead, this figure will rise to €1,097 per month. The most expensive accommodation would be €13,038 over nine months.
The letter goes on to say that the rent hikes go against UCD’s aims as a public institution, and decrying the decision as one that sees the housing crisis as an opportunity to dig even deeper into students pockets.
The SU are calling for a commitment to deliver affordable accommodation, as well as the establishment of a student rental-assistance fund for students who are struggling to pay their rent on and off campus.
The letter comes on the same day as an Irish Times report revealed that UCD had spent €5.5m on 5 premium houses neighbouring the Belfield campus by the Clonskeagh end of campus, which is part of a long-term campus extension project.