More than 500 new student beds to go into construction this year

Extra beds come as Government announces €61m for first phase of new student accommodation scheme

More than 500 new student beds will go to construction this year, as the Government announced new long-term plans to develop student accommodation.

On Friday, Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris announced new State funding for student accommodation with €61 million being made available for the first phase of the scheme.

Up to 1,000 student beds will be supported under the first phase across Dublin City University (DCU), Maynooth University, University of Limerick and University of Galway.

Some 521 of those beds – 405 in DCU and 116 in Maynooth University – are at tender stage and are expected to go into construction this year.


These are part-funded by the State and Mr Harris said the Government will work with each university with regard to how much State funding is needed to make the development viable. Funding is to be provided on the basis that a portion of beds will be ring-fenced for disadvantaged students and provided at below-market rents.

There will also be a standardised design which, Mr Harris said, could speed up the delivery of accommodation.

The second phase of the scheme will see technological universities submit proposals for the development of student accommodation.

“This policy will help increase the supply of student housing in campuses across the country but will also help prevent students competing with families for private rental accommodation,” Mr Harris said.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said supply is key to addressing housing needs.

“Today’s announcement points to even more supply and is the result of close collaboration across Government,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We know that for every student space that is created it helps to ease the pressure in the private rental market and both I and my department will work with Minister [Simon] Harris and his department in significantly scaling up this supply.”

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said the policy is designed to “better meet students’ housing needs”.

“This, in turn, aims to improve the level of housing stock for others in the community; families, couples, other workers, as they will ultimately not be competing for the same premises,” Mr Donohoe said.

“It should also provide students with greater certainty and affordability when it comes to securing a place to live during the academic year.”

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Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is a reporter for The Irish Times