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Minister Harris announces state support and policy to stimulate supply of student accommodation

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Harris TD has today confirmed Government approval for a new policy to provide state assistance to stimulate the development of new and additional student accommodation for public higher education institutions.


This landmark policy response will, for the first time, see the state providing financial support in the construction of on-site student accommodation, and underpins the policy commitments set out in Housing for All.


Minister Harris said: “I am pleased today to confirm Government has approved my proposal to directly intervene in the delivery of student accommodation.


“This new policy will unlock the construction of up to 700 beds with further engagement on an additional supply.


“I will also begin to prepare our Technological Universities for the construction of student accommodation. In order for our TUs to thrive and to ensure we have balanced regional development, we need to have more accommodation in our regions. Our TUs are ready for the challenge and this funding will start them on their path.


“As we progress this policy, we will ensure students in our target groups, the students who need the most assistance, are at the heart of the plans.”


This policy development will ensure a long term strategic response to student accommodation for higher education in Ireland. 


This will deliver in the short term up to 667 beds across University of Limerick, Maynooth University and University of Galway with further work on projects ongoing with DCU and UCD.


This will involve the State for the first time assisting with the cost of building student accommodation in return for affordability commitments on rent.


The immediate priority is to activate new supply where planning permission already exists but developments have not proceeded due to increasing construction costs, and to do so in a way that will enable targeted groups to access accommodation at affordable rates.


Furthermore, the Government has also approved investment in preparing Technological Universities to build student accommodation, which will include assessment of regional needs and vacant stock.


Supporting the development of student accommodation responses in key areas will enable TU’s to further develop facilities for students.


In developing these proposals Minister Harris thanked intensive and ongoing commitment from the HEA, colleagues across Government and the higher Education providers. 


Minister Harris said: “This step marks the beginning of the State’s new policy on student accommodation.


“I want to thank my Department, the HEA, the Department of Housing and colleagues across Government for their support.


“We will continue to progress proposals and bring them to Government.”