A meeting of the Trinity finance committee on October 26 has agreed to a rent freeze on all College owned accommodation for the 2024/25 academic year.
In a document presented to the finance committee, Trinity College Dublin Students Union (TCDSU) argued in favour of the rent freeze, citing difficulties facing students subjected to higher rents: “The situation has also created a two-tiered experience for students, with those who can find a place to live near their universities, and those who can’t.”
“Rents have increased by 30-35% since 2015, in some cases by 60%, and 93% of students find these rents unaffordable.”
Quoting the TCDSU housing survey in their report, TCDSU outlined how students both from Trinity and elsewhere find 70% of all accommodation options, Trinity and non-Trinity owned, unaffordable: “For example, 92 out of the 300 deferrals at the University of Galway were due to the housing crisis in 2022/2023, and we know that one-thirds of students have considered dropping out.”
In a statement to Trinity News, a spokesperson for College stated: “It was agreed to maintain student accommodation rates at their current level for the next academic year at a meeting today of the university’s finance committee.”
It was also noted in the meeting that student accommodation in Trinity is running at a deficit – with a loss of €2.7 million recorded in 2022.
The meeting of the finance committee follows the blockade of the Book of Kells on September 13. Students stood at the doors of the attraction to protest the rise in the rent of college-owned accommodations by the maximum permitted rate of 2%.
At the time, TCDSU who organised the protest, said in a statement: “Trinity make €10 million a year from their student accommodations, if they take money from the students, then the students will take money from college, by blockading one of Trinity’s most profitable attractions.”
Speaking to Trinity News at the protest, Dean of Students Dr Richie Porter said the protest is “counterproductive”.
“They’re biting the hand that feeds them,” he said.
“If they want a freeze in the next few years, we have many forums to discuss that – I am Chair of the Student Life Committee. [But] they’re giving me nothing, so I’m going to do nothing until they give me something – then I will negotiate and I will bring the top delegates along with me.”