Sinn Féin TD for Longford Westmeath Sorca Clarke.

Sinn Féin launch survey of students’ experiences of housing crisis – Sorca Clarke TD

Sinn Féin TD for Longford Westmeath Sorca Clarke has invited students across Longford Westmeath to share their experiences of the student accommodation crisis in the party’s online survey.

The survey is an opportunity for students and apprentices to share their stories about how the housing crisis is impacting on their studies and wider college experience.

It comes amid growing concerns among students about whether there will be sufficient suitable accommodation as the new academic term begins.

Deputy Clarke said: “Sinn Féin have launched our survey to hear students’ experiences of the college accommodation crisis.

“We want to hear from students in Longford Westmeath about how the crisis is affecting you personally.

“Make your voice heard and take part in our survey, so that we can tell the real story of how this crisis is affecting people across the state.

“I am being contacted everyday by huge numbers of students and families in Longford Westmeath who are worried sick about how they will secure suitable college accommodation in time.

“Many are concerned they will have to make long, exhausting and expensive commutes to college because they can find nothing nearby. Students should be able to focus on their studies, not face the added stress and hassle of navigating the housing crisis.

“For months, Sinn Féin have been warning Minister Simon Harris that we are hurtling headlong into an accommodation crisis for students. Despite this, the government failed to act and students and their families are now paying the price. This has to stop.

“Students in Longford and Westmeath deserve better and they need to see this sorted as an urgent priority.

“Sinn Féin have set out the solutions time and time again for many years now. We need urgent capital investment to enable HEIs to progress shovel-ready building projects and provide affordable accommodation.

“On-campus building projects had to be put on hold because it is not economically viable for HEIs to deliver them and offer them at an affordable rate without government financial intervention.

“From my consultations with HEIs, I estimate that between 3,000 and 6,000 beds are at advanced stages and could be progressed immediately as co-funded accommodation projects. Student affordability would obviously be a condition of such funding.

“We need to fully examine the use of rapid build construction units in the here and now as students need immediate action.

“The Minister must also initiate a national awareness campaign on the rent-a-room tax relief to encourage homeowners to participate.

“The solutions are there, if the government is willing to act.

“Sinn Féin will stand up for students in the midlands and across Ireland to ensure that this housing crisis is tackled.

"Make your voice heard in our survey.”

Link to survey: