Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has passed a motion to create and enforce rent caps on TCDSU’s accommodation portal.
The Welfare and Equality Officer is now mandated to create and enforce a maximum advertised rent on the union-run Accommodation Advisory Service’s (AAS) digs portal, in which rooms in owner-occupied homes are advertised.
According to the motion, proposed by Welfare and Equality Officer Chloe Staunton and seconded by TCDSU President Gabi Fullam, “Digs accommodation is not the most ideal accommodation type, but is often a cheaper alternative for students”.
“Many landlords seek to exploit students through charging high rents for their digs rooms.”
Speaking at Council, Staunton said that this digs portal “is no longer a quote-unquote “affordable” option”.
The motion states that rent caps will be introduced this year to “protect students looking for digs accommodation via the AAS portal”.
This motion mandates the welfare and equality to enforce these rent caps. The motion also mandates the welfare and equality officer to review the decided rent caps at the start of their sabbatical term “through consultation with relevant interest bodies”.
“Trinity College, through its provision of Purpose-Built Student Housing, seeks to monetarily benefit from the housing crisis by charging students high rents.”
One member of Council raised concerns that with there being four entities mandated by the motion – the president, welfare and equality officer, Union Forum, and Campaigns Committee – this may result in the buck being unproductively passed between people.
Fullam responded that the mandate “might seem [to be] spread across a lot of people”, duties are specifically delegated to ensure that this does not happen.
She added that the motion mandates the president to liaise with the welfare and equality officer on the matter, meaning that productive communication must take place.