The government announced today that it has obtained 75 million euros in funding from the Bank of the Council of Europe (CEB) intended for universities for the construction of student accommodation.
Legislation has been approved to allow the Housing Finance Agency to distribute loans to universities to build new homes, which higher education institutions will then have to repay.
The CEB mainly grants flexible medium and long-term loans at favorable interest rates to projects that promote social cohesion.
The Bank mainly grants flexible medium and long-term loans at advantageous interest rates, accompanied in specific cases by interest rate subsidies. CEB loans are granted for maturities that take into account the nature of the project and are disbursed in several installments.
The government’s Rebuilding Ireland initiative has highlighted increasing the supply of student accommodation as an important step in addressing the current housing crisis.
In a press release, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said: “The Irish economy is in recovery mode and we expect this student accommodation to become available in the near future.”
He added that “the loan agreement with partner banks like this underscores Ireland’s attractiveness as a provider of higher education and demonstrates that the Exchequer does not need to fully fund all public projects ”.
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said: “I am delighted that funding of € 75 million has been secured for our universities to help them increase their supply of student accommodation.
“Increasing the supply of student accommodation is the main objective of my department’s student accommodation strategy, and obtaining this funding brings us a little closer to our goal of 21,000 additional student bed places by 2024. .
In the wake of Brexit, Ireland has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of European students applying to Irish universities, which is likely to put a strain on the rental industry.
CAO President Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh said last month that about 5,000 of the additional 7,000 CAD requests came from the EU.
Speaking to RTÉ Radio One at the time, Ó Dochartaigh warned that the increase in requests – up almost 9% from last year – could put a strain on the third-tier sector.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said in a press release today: “I welcome this announcement which comes after Cabinet approved the introduction of a number of rental protections that will benefit students. ”
“Increasing the availability of housing for students is the most effective way to provide them with real choice and options and this is something the USI continues to emphasize.”
“This funding will not only ensure a high level of specific student housing in areas where it is most needed, but will also reduce demand among students for housing in the private rental sector.”
In an email statement to University timesJim Miley, Managing Director of the Irish Universities Association, said: “The news of € 75 million in euro student housing loans by Ministers Paschal Donohoe, Simon Harris and Darragh O’Brien is welcome. ”
“However, the loans must be repaid [it’s] essential that core funding be provided to our universities in financial difficulty, ”he added.
The government announced last week that there would be a two-month restriction on upfront rent payments charged to students.
At many universities, students must pay a semester or a full year of rent in advance.