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Student housing crisis needs tackling 21.01.08

A DONEGAL senator is supporting calls from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) for a task force on student accommodation to be established.
Senator Pearse Doherty said students should not be forced to decide which college to attend solely on the basis of the price of accommodation.
"There's a critical housing shortage in Ireland in general, which is having a very obvious negative affect on students. While the student grant has increased in recent years rent has increased at a much higher level, leading to further difficulties for students whose biggest worries should be on their studies," said the Sinn Féin senator.
"I want to support the students’ call for a task force on student accommodation to be established. At the very least the grant for students must increase at a rate equal to the increase in rents."
Senator Doherty said provision should be made for purpose-built student accommodation around the country.
"The Government especially need to target areas where there is an acute shortage of affordable rental accommodation near a college.
“Student rent must be affordable, accommodation should not entail students literally living on top of each other – they need adequate space to study and live in reasonable comfort and there must be tight regulations concerning landlords," he added.
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