College has defended its decision to increase rent in its accommodation by the maximum legal amount, saying that rising inflation has necessitated “modest increases”.
A spokesperson for College told Trinity News: “In light of persistently high inflation, modest increases in licences have been required to cover rising costs.”
They added that “inflation has been high for an extended period”, highlighting that in the 12 months to June 2023, the category of housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels rose 15.7%.
According to their financial statements, College accommodation brought in €10.64 million in 2022.
College has raised the licence fee in its accommodation units by 2% across the board, the maximum increase permitted under Rent Pressure Zone legislation.
Despite inflation, the average price for a single bedroom in Dublin city centre was €802 per month in July 2023. All campus accommodation units exceed this city-centre average.
While they acknowledged the difficulties faced by students in securing housing, the spokesperson argued that College’s power to ease them is limited.
“We are acutely aware of the housing crisis in Dublin that is making the search for accommodation extremely difficult. There is, unfortunately, a limit to what universities can do in the short-term to accelerate the provision of student accommodation.”
TCDSU has condemned College’s decision, which ignores the union’s demand for a rent freeze on all College-owned accommodation.
TCDSU President László Molnárfi accused College of contributing to the worsening of the housing crisis by following a “for-profit model”, while Welfare Officer Aoife Bennett said that College is “directly contributing” to stress felt by students’ as the result of of the accommodation crisis.