The Student Union of Dublin City University has penned an open letter addressing the “crippling” costs of student accommodation.
The letter addressed all off-campus accommodation, most notably Shanowen Square, Shanowen Hall and Gateway Student Village, where rent for some of the rooms has increased to almost €10,000 for a 9-month lease, or just over €1,100 per month. Although privately owned, these properties have a long history housing students of the nearby university.
The SU penned the letter to express their “anger and frustration”, and say that the massive price hikes could price students out of an education.
“We know too well the abhorrent financial pressures that have been imposed on Students in recent years. The increase in rents plays a part in a huge issue today that is the ever challenging life of a student,” the letter reads.
“Education is becoming more of a commodity and access becoming limited to only those who can afford to pay huge amounts each year.
“These fees are crippling students, potentially their families and those who financially support them.
“We cannot stand by and watch as rents increase to almost €10,000 for a 9-month lease of an apartment. We urge these providers to review these extortionate increases of up to nearly 27 percent that will price many students out of access to this accommodation. This is not only completely unwarranted, it will cause an excess of undue stress and pressure on students already struggling to survive.
“We urge all campus and local providers to rethink just how this exploitation is affecting your students and to not just use them as cash cows.
“Everybody has to play their part for education in Ireland, and these students are part of our community, and should not be burdened for simply accessing education.”
The SU concluded the letter by inviting the management of all off-campus student residences to discuss moving forward.
A petition has been set up to encourage Education Minister Richard Bruton and Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to work with universities to create more affordable accommodation and to stop landlords from charging “whatever they wish.”
As of the publication of this article, the petition has been signed by over 12,200 people.
To sign the petition, click here.
The extortionate 27% increase in accommodation costs in Shanowen is absolutely absurd.
We, the students of @DCUSU, will not stand for this. We will not let these extortionate costs hinder our education, our futures, our lives.
We will have our voices heard!#ShanowenShakedown
— Orla Ainsworth (@OrlaAinsworth) March 28, 2018
USI have signalled their support for DCU SU, saying: “This is outrageous behaviour, and will price many students out of accommodation during college.”
An open letter from DCU Students Union to all off-campus accommodation including Shanowen Square, Shanowen Hall and Gateway Student Village on behalf of all the students in Dublin City University. pic.twitter.com/sBkyCVow9w
— DCU Students’ Union (@DCUSU) March 26, 2018