Housing crisis

Sinn Féin launches survey into students’ experiences of housing crisis – Sorca Clarke TD

Sinn Féin TD for Longford Westmeath Sorca Clarke.

Sinn Féin TD for Longford Westmeath Sorca Clarke has invited students at Longford Westmeath to share their experiences of the student housing crisis in the party’s online poll.

The survey is an opportunity for students and apprentices to share their stories about the impact of the housing crisis on their studies and wider university experience.

It comes as students grow increasingly concerned about whether there will be enough suitable accommodation at the start of the new academic term.

Deputy Clarke said: ‘Sinn Féin launched our survey to hear students’ experiences of the university accommodation crisis.

“We want to hear from students at Longford Westmeath about how the crisis is affecting you personally.

“Raise your voice and participate in our investigation, so we can tell the real story of how this crisis is affecting people across the state.

“I am contacted every day by large numbers of students and families at Longford Westmeath who are concerned about how they will find suitable university accommodation in time.

“Many fear they will have to make long, exhausting and expensive journeys to get to university because they can’t find anything nearby. Students should be able to focus on their studies, without dealing with the added stress and hassle of dealing with the housing crisis.

“For months Sinn Féin has been warning Minister Simon Harris that we are rushing headlong into a student housing crisis. Despite this, the government has failed to act and students and their families are now paying the price. This must stop.

“Students at Longford and Westmeath deserve better and they must see this ranked as an urgent priority.

“Sinn Féin has presented the solutions time and time again for many years now. We need urgent capital investment to enable HEIs to advance shovel-ready construction projects and provide affordable housing.

“Construction projects on campus have had to be put on hold as it is not economically viable for HEIs to carry them out and offer them at an affordable price without financial intervention from the government.

“Based on my consultations with HEIs, I estimate that between 3,000 and 6,000 beds are at advanced stages and could be advanced immediately as co-funded accommodation projects. Student affordability would obviously be a condition of such funding.

“We need to fully consider the use of rapid build units here and now, as students need immediate action.

“The Minister must also launch a national awareness campaign on the tax relief for renting a room to encourage landlords to participate.

“The solutions are there, if the government is ready to act.

“Sinn Féin will stand up for students in the Midlands and across Ireland to ensure this housing crisis is resolved.

“Make your voice heard in our poll.”

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/StudentHousingCrisis