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06 Oct 2022

'Game-changer' student accommodation won't be available until next year

'Game-changer' student accommodation won't be available until next year

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Higher Education Minister Simon Harris has admitted that student accommodation needs to change in Ireland, but new 'game-changer' on-campus accommodation won't be available until next year. 

He was speaking as students struggle to find accommodation amid a shortage, further intensified by delayed Leaving Certificate results which only come out this Friday. 

Minister Harris told Newstalk Breakfast on Wednesday while he has big plans, they won't help people this year.

"I've got to be blunt - we need to change the student accommodation policy.

"And we need the State to do what it has done before - which is invest in colleges, building college-owned student accommodation.

"I got agreement for that to happen in July, I believe it is going to be a game-changer.

"This September, I think what we need to do is make sure that we can maximise what is available to students.

He said rooms being let out in people's homes, traditionally known as 'digs' is one option which needs to be used more. 

A campaign was recently launched to encourage people to rent a room in their house to students, as there are attractive benefits, including being able to earn up to €14,000 tax-free. This also doesn't affect your social welfare allowance. 

Minister Harris said latest figures show some 737 rooms are available under the scheme.

"Every college in Ireland is now maintaining a register of rooms to rent in their community," he said.

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