Pearse Doherty TD
A row erupted in the Dáil after Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty said the Government should be ashamed of its record when it comes to housing and called on the Tanáiste, Leo Varadkar, to have 'some humility.'
There is a shortage of student accommodation being experienced at present. It's estimated that between 150 and 200 additional rooms are needed for students attending LYIT this year.
Vice President of Equality and Welfare of the Students Union, Edward Grant, said some students are considering deferring for a year. There have been reports of students in both Sligo and Donegal having to stay in hotels such is the extent of the accommodation shortage.
Deputy Pearse Doherty raised the issue in the Dáil saying the issue was not only Covid-19 related as students have stayed in tents and hostels over the years. He said that there currently exists a housing crisis effecting a number a cross section of society.
Tanáiste Leo Varadkar said that Covid-19 has had a ‘significant impact’ on accommodation with fewer people happy to offer accommodation than in other years. He added that there are fewer bed spaces in most on-campus accommodation.
The Tanáiste added that discussions between the Department of Housing and Further and Higher Education are ongoing in relation to privately owned student accommodation being used for other purposes.
Student accommodation is capped under the rent pressure zones. Approval for Technological universities to borrow to build student accommodation has been given by the government.
A row erupted when the Tanáiste asked whether the Sinn Féin party should be ashamed of itself claiming the party had raised rents in northern Ireland during the pandemic.
Deputy Doherty told the Tanáiste to listen to the people, and that people are dying in sheds without running water, he added ‘a bit of humility’ from the Tanáiste ‘would go a long way.’
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