Sinn Féin spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Mairéad Farrell TD, has today said that the requirement for students to stay 51 weeks in certain investment fund-owned student accommodation mirrors the wider failure of the government’s approach to housing.
Teachta Farrell said:
“For students living in purpose-built campus accommodation the duration of their stay is naturally tied to the academic year, which is generally nine months. When this is finished, they will return home.
“However, for the purpose-built accommodation that is being delivered by certain large institutional private providers, some have attached conditions where they must stay the equivalent of 12 months.
“This means that students, or their parents, will have to pay for an additional three months despite often not needing the accommodation for this period.
“Some of these providers have rents starting off at around €1,000 a month.
“This delivery model mirrors that of the wider build to rent (BTR) sector. They are owned by large investment funds, on behalf of pension funds. They are availing of generous tax incentives, and making fantastic returns.
“Of course, this is all off the back of students and parents, and thanks to the tax subsidies that have been provided by this government and previous others.
“As the Irish Independent reported earlier this year, four residences alone, which had filed accounts in Luxembourg, received rent of €17 million in 2022.
“Another delivery model is possible. I’m not sure what Minister Harris is waiting for.”