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UCD President Defends Rent Hikes

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The president of University College Dublin has suggested that students have reacted "emotionally" to proposed rent increases of 12%.

Students recently held a sit-down protest outside a meeting of the university's governing authority over proposals to increase rents over the next three years by the maximum allowed under rent cap laws.

President Professor Andrew Deeks defended the decision, indicating it was necessary to cover the increasing costs of running campus accommodation. Funds will also be used to build a further 3,000 student bed spaces on the south Dublin campus.

He said: "We're not out to make money from the students, we're out to put additional student residences into the market."

"The way you solve the housing crisis is building more houses, you don't solve a housing crisis by putting caps on rents, you don't solve a housing crisis by subsidising people to pay rents, all that does is push up the rents."

The most expensive accommodation on the Belfield campus will rise from EUR 8,815 a year to nearly EUR 10,000 under the plans.

Mr Deeks acknowledged that the university could have communicated the increases a little better, but it was not sustainable to keep subsidising the running costs of student housing.

Whilst the university would review the proposed 4% annual increase, it played down suggestions that rates would be amended.