27 August 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Holly Cairns (Cork South West TD), who is the Social Democrats spokesperson for Further and Higher Education, has called for measures to support students seeking accommodation who have less protections than other renters.
“Students and their families are facing an incredibly hard year with uncertainty about how teaching and learning will be delivered in colleges. This means students are unsure if it is worth spending large amounts of money to secure accommodation for the year when they could study from home instead.
“Universities and colleges, along with large accommodation companies, need to provide more clarity.
“Covid-19 has amplified underlying issues with the student rental market. Students do not have the same rights as other renters which leaves them especially vulnerable to the uncertainties of the pandemic.
“I strongly support the Union of Students in Ireland’s call for emergency rental measures for students, including no penalties for early termination of leases and other rental contracts for Covid-19 related reasons. These are responsible requests that would help ease the pressure on students and families.
“Third level institutions also have an obligation to support students. Universities and colleges are often among the largest accommodation providers and they should implement the USI’s measures as an act of good faith.”