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Students sleep out in front of Dáil to highlight accommodation crisis

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) will stage a sleepout protest in front of the Dáil today, calling for the government to intervene and tackle the student accommodation crisis.

The protest was organised as part of USI’s No Keys No Degrees campaign.

USI President, Clare Austick is calling for urgent action from Government and higher education institutions to immediately support those students who feel they have no choice but to drop-out or defer their place as they live too far away from their universities and colleges to commute.

Ms Austick said: “There are thousands of students across the Island who cannot find accommodation. With waiting lists of up to 200 plus people, students are exploring the option of staying in B&Bs, hostels and hotels. There just isn’t enough purpose-built student accommodation to meet the needs of students wanting to attend third level education in Ireland today. 

“We talk about the barriers blocking access to education, but many students now physically cannot access education because they don’t have a place to stay. The housing crisis has continuously worsened over the last decade with the Government failing to relieve the stress and pressure of the housing situation on the next generation.

 It really isn’t good enough, we need to see urgent, effective and long-term action now.”

As of Wednesday September 22, there are two rent listings in the Castletroy area on Daft.ie, however, there are over 10 AirBnb listings available in the same area on AirBnB.ie.

The USI urge anyone who can attend to drop by and to follow the discussion on social media with the #NoKeysNoDegrees hashtag.

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