DCU students launch Cut the Rent campaign following 4% rent increase announcement

Trinity students launched their own Cut the Rent group earlier this academic year

Students at Dublin City University (DCU) launched a Cut the Rent campaign yesterday, following the announcement of a 4% rent increase for on-campus accommodation.

This hike in accomodation price follows similar rises in University College Dublin (UCD),  University of Limerick (UL), and NUI Galway, which garnered outrage from students already struggling with high accomodation prices and the highest university fees in the European Union. 

In a statement to Trinity News, the Cut the Rent committee said they found it “absurd” that third level institutions are “creating more barriers to education”, and that students should not be expected to bear the burden of “ever increasing rents”. They are therefore demanding a rent freeze for the next three years and “urge every college to reconsider their position on the issue”. 

Last year, off campus accommodation providers in the vicinity of DCU increased rent by up to 27%, which led to a 4% cap being imposed on purpose-built student accommodation. Dublin City University Students’ Union (DCUSU) said they found the decision to increase on-campus accommodation by the legal maximum “disillusioning” in a statement released to their Twitter page.

In response to the widespread anger at rent increases, DCU referenced their “ongoing refurbishment investment programme” into which they’ve already invested €3.8 million of a planned €5.4 million. 

The DCU Cut the Rent campaign recalls a similar initiative taken by students at University College London in 2016. Hundreds of students went on rent strike to demand lower rents and better conditions, which resulted in a rent freeze on the most affordable rooms for the 2017/2018 academic year and an increased pledge for student accommodation bursaries. 

Trinity students launched their own Cut the Rent group earlier this academic year, but Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) voted down a motion to support rent strikes on campus. A proposed 4% rent increase was originally set to be discussed at the subsequent Finance Committee meeting, but has since been removed from the agenda. 

Next Monday, DCUSU has organised a “Strike The Rent Hike” protest at 1pm on the Glasnevin Campus. 

Madalyn Williams

Madalyn Williams is a Deputy News Editor for Trinity News.