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Cork Independent


UCC rent hike slammed

Wednesday, 19th February, 2020 4:59pm

UCC Students Union has condemned the decision taken by the university to increase the rent for its campus accommodation by three per cent.

News of the rise came to light on Tuesday with UCC Student’s Union (UCCSU) taking to Facebook to voice its disapproval at the decision.

It said that it will be distressing for many students to hear and urged worried students to contact UCCSU’s welfare officer.

A UCCSU statement said: “Two student representatives from the union sit on the (Campus Accommodation) Board and vehemently disagreed throughout this process that any such increase should be implemented. It’s important when reviewing such proposals that the wider implications are adequately appreciated. This year alone, we witnessed the UCC Student Assistance Fund running out of support funds faster than any recent year and a food bank having to be established in order to support those who are unable to purchase the bare essentials.”

UCC’s decision means that UCC accommodation has increased by 19 per cent in three years, the statement said, while adding that it’s a rate that cannot be supported.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on education TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire criticised the increase saying that further price increases to student accommodation results in more barriers to students receiving a third level education. Solidarity TD Mick Barry was of the opinion that a protest will be needed if these rent hikes aren’t withdrawn straight away.

A spokesman for UCC said that the increase was due to major refurbishment work, the rise in security and maintenance costs, and the investment required to provide additional accommodation for students.

The three per cent increase will come into effect for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The spokesman said that the university is “extremely conscious” of the financial challenges faced by students and has decided to review the applicability of the 2020/21 increase for students in receipt of student assistance funding.

The spokesman said: “UCC is committed to providing safe accommodation of a high standard for its students. UCC’s campus accommodation is specifically designed for student life, and includes on-site reception, 24 hour security, a convenience store and other services and amenities. UCC’s new student accommodation development at the Crow’s Nest site, Victoria Cross will bring an urgently required additional 255 student beds.

“Any changes to Campus Accommodation rates are considered together with the student representatives on the Campus Accommodation Board.UCC’s Campus Accommodation rates remain significantly below the level of privately owned student accommodation in Cork city. In addition, Campus Accommodation UCC’s 37 week contract is shorter than the contract length of any privately owned student accommodation in Cork city,” said the spokesman.

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