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Outcry over student rent hikes

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019 5:03pm

UCC Students’ Union has requested a meeting with the college’s management in an effort to curb the latest surge in accommodation prices.

The anger comes after the Union’s Vice President claimed the college would be raising prices for all UCC-owned accommodation by ten per cent for the coming 2019/2020 year.

An online post from a student revealed that the price of a single ensuite room in the Victoria Mills complex for 2019/20 is €6,179.

This is a €913 rise on the 2016/17 year, when the same room cost €5,260.

UCC Students’ Union Vice President Kelly Coyle claimed this week that comparing rates across all of UCC's accommodation showed a ten per cent price rise between the current year and 2019/2020.

“It’s been getting out of hand for a while, especially with private developers coming in,” Ms Coyle said. “But we’ve always relied our own campus accommodation staying at least at a reasonable price. We know it’s gone up a little bit in previous years, but we didn’t realise to this extent.

“I think more than anything we’re disappointed that our own campus accommodation that is sort of following the trends of private developers rather than trying to keep their prices down.”

Adding that the union was drafting a letter to the college’s management, Ms Coyle said: “It’s just a matter for now of getting in contact and seeing if we can come to some form of compromise where they can still turn over a profit but also not completely lock people out of accommodation. There has to be a halfway point.”

UCC were unable to confirm the ten per cent rise as of going to print, but said in a statement: “UCC is extremely conscious of the financial challenges faced by students, and no changes to campus accommodation rates were made from 2016/2017 and 2017/2018. In 2018/2019, weekly charges increased by eight euro, while in 2019/2020 weekly charges will increase by €14 to €17.

“UCC is operating in an environment which has seen an attendant rise in costs for the ongoing maintenance and security of student accommodation. Any increase in campus accommodation rates are considered with student representatives and UCC is committed to providing safe accommodation to a high standard for its students.”

UCC currently provides 1,277 bed spaces for its students across five complexes; Victoria Mills, University Hall, Victoria Lodge, Castlewhite Apartments and Mardyke Hall.

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