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Student accommodation crisis prevailing in Ireland: “worse than ever”

DUBLIN: Thousands of students at colleges and universities across Ireland will go on strike this morning to protest a lack of housing and rising living costs.

Students will boycott classes and protest in college quads and other outdoor locations at 11 minutes past 11 a.m.

Students say landlords are taking advantage of the student accommodation crisis by charging high rents like fuel on a fire, According to the Irish Student Union. 

The union criticised the government’s unwillingness to set a cap on student rents, pointing to a shortage of 20,000 student beds by 2024, and they said the 2023 budget did not commit to addressing the bed shortage.

The budget provided for a €1,000 fee reduction for the majority of students, but according to USI, PhD students are still struggling to find a stipend that covers their living expenses.

The students are calling for an immediate halt to evictions and the inclusion of housing as a constitutional right.

They also advocate for rental protections and minimum standards for students and short-term tenants in residential leases.

USI is also advocating for legislative amendments to allow the Residential Tenancies Board to intervene in security deposit disputes.

It demands an immediate cap on student rents as well as immediate government action using public funds to subsidize the building of affordable student accommodation.

The union also wants the minimum wage to be equal to the current cost of living, which is €13.10 per hour.

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