Said Cllr O’Neill: “The National Union of Students – Union of Students in Ireland (NUS-USI), alongside other student and housing campaigners descended on Stormont on October 18th protesting the growing housing crisis, rising rent costs and the fact that hundreds of students have been left without accommodation.
“They are calling for a Student Renters Bill which ensures all student accommodation is ‘Safe, Affordable, Good Quality and Guaranteed.”
“Grian Ní Dhaimhín, a rep from NUS-USI said ‘Across Ireland, students are deferring courses because they have no where to live while they study. They’re sofa surfing, paying for hotels, hostels and AirBnBs, or commuting for a total of 3-5 hours to get to their classes’.”
Added Cllr O’Neill: “People Before Profit is giving our full backing to the campaign and I’m bringing a motion in support of Student Renters Bill before the Derry Strabane full Council meeting this Thursday.
“The Stormont Executive says it wants to invest in students, however, the conditions by which students need to live and thrive are often an afterthought – unless its about exploiting profits from the student population.
“The Students Deserve Better campaign also calls for the abolition of students fees which we fully support.
“We hope this can send a message that students deserve much better treatment and encourage them to push forward with all their campaign demands.”
Full Motion below:
Council notes the added stress on students following their housing promises broken just before the start of term being left with no option but to add hours to their daily commute.
Council recognises that if the Stormont Executive want to invest in students, and all they contribute to society, that we can’t have the student numbers without making sure they have decent homes to live in.
Council supports the demands of the Student Renters Bill, for housing for students that is safe, affordable, good quality and guaranteed.
Council notes that the student accommodation crisis is an all-Ireland issue, and is a symptom of the housing crisis across this island that has been caused by failed housing policy North and South that prioritises private development over social housing.