Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has demanded that the government tackle the student accommodation crisis.

Teachta Crowe’s comments came after third level students across the state are staged a walk out from lectures in protest at the cost of education and the lack of affordable student accommodation.

Teachta Crowe said:

“I send solidarity and support to third level students and their families taking part in this walk out today. This is not a decision that they have taken lightly. They have been forced into it by the government’s abject failure to stand up for students and tackle the housing crisis.

“Anyone hoping to attend the Tallaght campus of Technological University Dublin is faced with extortionate rents far and away above what students can afford.

“Students are struggling to get by day by day. Students are sleeping in cars, on sofas or commuting exhausting journeys because there simply isn’t enough housing. PHD researchers are pushed to the brink of their finances, without a living wage or decent conditions. SUSI grants are in dire need of reform.

“Some young people are even passing up on college courses because they simply cannot find somewhere to live. Where are we to find the nurses and doctors to work in our hospitals, the engineers and construction technicians to build the homes we so desperately need, the teachers to work in our schools if we do not give students the most basic of supports to continue on to third level?

“The student housing crisis should shame the government. It is not good enough for government Ministers to act surprised every September. Students in deserve better.

“Despite all the hand wringing from government TDs, this year’s Budget is the third consecutive Budget from this government with no allocation for student accommodation.

“The Fine Gael Minister for Further and Higher Education has passed the buck to the Minister for Housing. Someone needs to take responsibility.

“We need capital investment to unlock the 3,000 college-owned beds that this government have allowed to sit on the self. This must happen without delay.

“Sinn Féin allocated €81 million in additional capital investment to get these shovel ready projects onsite and under construction.

“Sinn Féin is determined to stand up for students and ensure that they are treated fairly.”