Student’s will take to the streets this week, on October the 3rd, to protest the spiralling costs of student accommodation . With the catchphrase #RaiseTheRoof trending online it’s an action students are taking in the hope of highlighting the prices for substandard accommodation.
We are all too aware of the national housing crisis but why are students the victims? Some students are forced to pay over €250 a week for a room in a house, cramped with people. Student Union’s across Ireland and the USI (Union of Students in Ireland) are standing shoulder to shoulder in this fight for students rights.
“Students are footing the second highest fee in Europe for third level education, and we are being further locked out by the lack of, and cost of, accommodation across Ireland,” says USI President Síona Cahill. “Union of Students in Ireland (USI), with Students’ Unions and student activists across Ireland, are organising with trade unions, community groups, charities, women’s groups, and political parties as part of the National Homeless & Housing Coalition to call for urgent action during what is a national crisis. Our national student protest will join the rally outside Leinster House, but first, we are taking to the streets. USI is using this opportunity to highlight the true scale of the student housing issue in Ireland. We want to show that the lack of rent caps for PBSA is causing 27%+ increases in rent overnight in some places, that there’s little deposit protection, that there are increasing scams on international students, to highlight the damp or overcrowded conditions, that there are students paying night after night in hostels because there is a lack of rooms, couch-surfing or sleeping in their cars.” she continued.
Síona Cahill also went on to address the harsh reality for many college students. “Students’ Unions across Ireland are facing the reality of this issue and seeing students dropping out because of spiralling costs. It’s not good enough. The student population has been increasing by 2% year on year, yet the planning for accommodation hasn’t matched the need, despite our warnings. The government needs to invest and act on this housing crisis, one that affects students, families, and communities.”
The pressure as pointed out by Síona Cahill addresses how students are forced out of their place at college because of this housing crisis. USI and many Student Unions are ready to #RaiseTheRoof on October the 3rd to rally the streets of Dublin and show that even this housing crisis will never get the better of them. Let’s do this for the students, let’s do this to stop students being victims of this housing crisis.
Photo credit: Flickr Can Pac Swire