The Workers’ Party have called for Dublin City Council to acquire through a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) five purpose-built student complexes and use these buildings to provide public student accommodation. 

Operating under the brand Uninest, the five facilities were recently granted a change-of-use application by DCC to let 1,600 student accommodation beds until May 31st 2021, in continuous short-term leases to tourists and private sector renters.

Speaking on the matter, Workers’ Party representative for Dublin Central, Éilis Ryan, said: “Allowing a corporate landlord to turn these units into short-term lets in the middle of a housing crisis is totally myopic”

She continued: “This has been permitted despite no attempt on the part of the company to lower its rents to attract more students, in the face of a grave affordability crisis for students seeking accommodation in the city”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the myth that large-scale development in the private student accommodation sector in recent years would ease pressure in the private rental market. In reality, the accommodation provided by the likes of Uninest is totally unaffordable for ordinary students. As previously highlighted by the Workers’ Party, there is a dire need for an affordability criterion to be imposed when planning for student housing is granted”

Ryan concluded: “I am calling on Dublin City Council to make extensive use of its powers of compulsory purchase in relation to these buildings. We must stand up to corporate landlords who seek to treat students as cash-cows and take the necessary action to provide long-term, public housing solutions in the city”