Gavin Tracey looks into the increase of campus rent across universities in Ireland.
National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), Dublin City University (DCU), and UCD have all announced they will be increasing the cost of on campus rents by 4%, the maximum amount allowed under the law. Trinity College’s finance committee will consider a 4% rent hike also.
On top of the rent hikes, UCD has proposed an average €1000 premium on new residences currently under construction. According to The University Times, Trinity College’s finance committee will also consider the addition of a €10 per week premium on certain rooms.
As universities finalise campus accommodation rates for the academic year 2020-21, most universities have decided to increase their rents. University of Limerick rents will be increased by between 3.5-4%, and Maynooth is raising their on campus rents by 3%.
The decisions have been met with anger from the various Students’ Unions. Joanna Siewierska, President of the UCD Students’ Union released a statement, in which she said “this decision was made yesterday behind closed doors by the University Management Team (UMT), with zero consultation with any student representatives. The SU is calling for an immediate reversal of this decision.”
The NUIGSU President Clare Austick said of the rent hikes; “We meet students everyday who have to work two or more part-time jobs to stay in college, students who commute huge distances, students who can’t afford decent accommodation and students who aren’t in college who should be. We are outraged that in the midst of an accommodation crisis the University is again looking to profit from the desperation of students looking for accommodation.”
DCUSU President Christine Farrell echoed the sentiments of other SU Presidents, saying that students “already under huge financial burdens in the midst of the accommodation crisis.”
Direct actions have been planned in Trinity and UCD in opposition to the rent strikes. Direct action in UCD has been successful before, as a sleep-out protest at the N11 entrance in 2010 led to a rent freeze.