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Applications for student accommodation in the regions open under new student accommodation policy

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has today welcomed the publication of the long-term student accommodation plan by Minister Simon Harris.

The plan commits funding for universities to build student accommodation, repurpose vacant buildings for housing and the continued promotion of digs for homeowners and students. Crucially, the plan confirms that applications for student accommodation projects from the five Technological Universities are now open.

Speaking on the matter Senator John Cummins said: “I accept that increasing the supply of all forms of housing will continue to be the biggest challenge facing government in the years ahead, however it is clear that commencements and completions are increasing every year and we need to see that trend continue. While a significant volume of purpose-builtstudent accommodation has been delivered in recent years, it has been largely confined to Dublin so this new plan confirms the Government’s commitment to invest in the building of student accommodation right across the country including Waterford.

“This plan commits to building student accommodation in the regions, in cities and towns across this country. This is something which I have had extensive discussions with Minister Harris on and I know he is hugely committed to ensuring there is student accommodation delivered at SETU to enable the new university to grow and attract students from around the country and further afield”.

“There is an element of being first up best dressed here and I know the team at SETU have done a considerable amount of work in developing a proposal for up to 700 student beds at SETU and will be ready to submit their business case in the allocated time to the end of March.

Each Technological University will now be written to and asked for plans by the end of March.

Under this new student accommodation policy:

• The Government will fund the construction of purpose-built student accommodation;

• Technological Universities to be enabled to build student accommodation in regions across the country;

• Funding will be provided to repurpose vacant properties into housing for students;

• Funding will be provided on the basis that a portion of beds will be ringfenced for students with a household income of below €100,000.

• Continued support of the digs scheme with local authority and medical card changes to come into effect.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to confirm Government has agreed a long-term policy on student accommodation. This policy will help increase the supply of student housing in campuses across the country but will also help prevent students competing with families for private rental accommodation. This vision and policy will inform a new Student Accommodation Policy, which will be published later this year.”

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