New policy outlines long-term accommodation plan

by Rachel Cunningham
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The government has reached an agreement on a new long-term policy to develop student accommodation.

This policy, funding for which will be agreed through the National Development Plan, will inform the development of the new student accommodation strategy and associated schemes to be developed in 2024.

Aiming to reduce the cost of construction and increase the pace of delivery through standardised design, the policy vision will inform a new student accommodation strategy, which will be published later this year.

“This policy is designed to address the issue of student accommodation and to better meet students’ housing needs,” said Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe.

“This, in turn, aims to improve the level of housing stock for others in the community; families, couples, other workers, as they will ultimately not be competing for the same premises.

“It should also provide students with greater certainty and affordability when it comes to securing a place to live during the academic year. I look forward to the publication of the full strategy in the coming period.”

Funds will be allocated towards the delivery of purpose built student accommodation and for the repurposing of vacant properties into housing for students, including properties on college owned lands.

This will be in addition to continued support of the digs scheme with local authority.

Medical card changes will also come into effect, while improved public transport will be explored for students.

A call for proposals for accommodation projects for Technological Universities will open in the coming weeks.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, said the policy will help to increase the supply of student housing in campuses while preventing a situation where students are competing with families for private rental accommodation.

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