Sinn Féin spokesperson on Higher and Further Education, Mairéad Farrell TD, has urged government to take action to protect students from accommodation scams.
Her comments follow the launch of the ‘Scamwatch Campaign’ by student unions and Threshold.
Speaking today, Teachta Farrell said:
“There is a severe shortage of student accommodation at colleges across the state. Students are desperate to secure suitable rentals and as a result some are falling prey to scammers taking advantage of this desperation.
“This is happening because the government has failed to take action and address the housing crisis despite clear and repeated warnings from students and people across the further and higher education sector.
“I am deeply concerned by reports of students being scammed hundreds and even thousands of Euros when they attempt to secure accommodation.
“Government must act urgently to protect students and tackle the underlying issues around the lack of housing supply.
“I am concerned that international students are particularly vulnerable to these scams, as they may lack local knowledge to determine whether a rental advert is authentic or not.
“The government has totally failed student renters by abandoning them in the grip of the housing crisis. It isn’t good enough.
“Sinn Féin in government would stand up for students and deliver genuinely affordable homes for rent, including suitable student accommodation.”