DCU students stage sleep-out protest over 27% price hike for accommodation

DCU students have staged a sleep-out protest outside a pair of apartment blocks beside the university against a proposed 27% price increase for accommodation next year.

Shanowen Halls and Shanowen Square, which are a five-minute walk from the college's Glasnevin campus, will increase prices to €235 per week next year -writes dublinlive.ie

It means that students staying in Shanowen Square now pay €9,000 for eight months housing, 83% more than those who lived there during the 2013/14 academic year.

Students first staged a protest outside the apartments last week, but put more pressure on the property management yesterday by camping outside in sleeping bags.

About forty people turned up to the rally crying “we are not cash cows”, with student union president Niall Behan calling the rent increase a “complete disgrace”.

Vice president for Podge Henry also labelled the move “absolutely ridiculous”, adding that he had been swarmed with messages from distressed students.

He told Dublin Live: “It’s been said over and over again that the price increases for student accommodation in the area is absolutely ridiculous.

“This is no longer a local thing, it’s national. I’ve had UCD and UCC talking to us about their accommodation also going up to €9,000 – this is across the board for all students.

“We want change. We want new legislation. We are not cash cows. We want the rent pressure zone on student accommodation such as Shanowan."

Current rent laws don’t allow landlords from raising prices more than four percent unless they have an acceptable reason, but the law does not apply to student accommodation.

Last week DCU made an official statement condemning the price increases calling them “simply unacceptable.”

President Brian MacCraith issued the statement on Friday morning saying: "The burden being placed on students and their families by such increases is unacceptable and will inevitably create a family-income-based barrier for entry to Higher and Further Education."

Neither Shanowen Halls or Shanowen Square were available for comment when contacted by Dublin Live.

Read more news of Dublin on our site.

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