Dublin City University (DCU) students are planning to sleep outside the Shanowen Square purpose-built student accommodation complex tonight for their second protest of a 27% rent increase introduced there, as well as a price hike of 23.5% at Shanowen Halls.
The Shanowen Shakedown campaign’s decision to hold a sleep-out was taken due to the lack of response from Shanowen Halls and Shanowen Square. A statement from the Dublin City University Students’ Union (DCUSU) Facebook page said that campaigners will “be staying the night outside the apartment complexes until we get a response”.
The campaign’s second direct action follows on from last weeks’ protest as well as a petition signed by over 15,000 students against the rental increases. The petition argues that students are continuously exploited by landlords due to the current rental market and calls on Minister of Education and Skills Richard Bruton and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to “work with universities and their Unions to create more sustainable, affordable accommodation and to stop landlords from exploiting legal loopholes, allowing them to charge whatever they wish to students”.
Both accommodation complexes charge a non-refundable €400 deposit. Students stay in the accommodation complexes from September to December. Due to the 27% price increase in Shanowen Square the cost of rent for the full academic year will go up by €1,850, to €8,695.
DCU students are also protesting the standards of accommodation provided. In a tweet after the Union of Students in Ireland (USI)’s annual congress, DCUSU President Niall Behan stated he would be joining the sleep out protest against the price increase and “substandard accommodation”.
Last week Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) sabbatical officers signed an open letter lending its “support and solidarity” to the DCU students protesting the accommodation price increases. A number of Take Back Trinity campaigners were also in attendance.