Tuesday, 3 July 2018
Department of Education and Skills
151. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to deal with the concerns of an organisation (details supplied) regarding the escalating cost of rents in Dublin, which is driving students out of third level education; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28865/18]
152. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to ensure that third level students can deal with escalating rents for accommodation in the Dublin area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28866/18]
183. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the work that has been undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government regarding the provision and cost of the provision of student accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29184/18]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 151, 152 and 183 together.
The National Student Accommodation Strategy (NSAS) was published in July 2017 under the Government’s housing strategy Rebuilding Ireland. The National Student Accommodation Strategy is an important element of Rebuilding Irelandin ensuring that increased levels of student accommodation are available to meet the needs of our growing student cohort.
As of the end of May this year 2,990 bed spaces have been completed since the launch of Rebuilding Ireland. Countrywide, there are 7,017 bed spaces being built, 2,270 of which are expected to be available for the coming academic year, with over 3,000 the following year.
We should therefore meet, if not exceed, the Rebuilding Ireland targets of 7,000 purpose built bed spaces by the end of 2019 and 21,000 bed spaces by 2024. The potential pipeline of accommodation is also encouraging as 7,366 bed spaces have been granted planning permission.
The Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government are working with The Union of Students Ireland to support the #HomesforStudy campaign which promotes the provision of ‘digs’ accommodation for students as an alternative to both purpose built student accommodation and the general rental market, and have provided funding to the USI for this purpose. The 2018 #HomesforStudy campaign was launched on 25 June and officials from the Department of Education and Skills are continuing to work with the USI on this campaign.
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and the Department of Education and Skills are also currently examining the issues surrounding rent increases in certain purpose built student accommodation complexes.