One of Dublin’s controversial new student housing schemes is breaching its planning permission by letting out rooms for up to €170 / night during the Pope’s visit, according to Workers’ Party councillor Éilis Ryan.

Cllr. Ryan, who has campaigned extensively against student housing in the inner city, said:
“‘Dorset Point,’ a block of 447 bedrooms on Dorset Street owned by Aparto, is being rented to tourists throughout the summer. This is in breach of its planning permission, which states that it cannot be used for any purpose other than as student accommodation. Aparto have not applied for permission to change the use of the structure.

“After repeated lectures about the urgent need for student housing in Dublin, now these private, unaffordable blocks are not even being used for that purpose.”

Cllr. Ryan said:
“The rooms are being rented for about €80 / night, but the weekend of the Pope’s visit this rises to an astounding €170 / night. The majority of Dorset Point’s rooms are available to students for only 41 weeks / year. This means Aparto – and their multi-billion euro backers Hines – are making over €2 million in just 11 weeks.

“It proves what the Workers’ Party have been saying for some time. Private student housing does not benefit students – just mega rich developers.”

Cllr. Ryan concluded:
“Even worse, the government have bowed to pressure from the developers, by granting any new student residences permission to evict students come summer-time, to make way for tourists.

“What logic is there in enabling these evictions? What about students with jobs to hold down during summer break? What about PhD students whose courses run year round?

“Purpose-built student accommodation in Dublin is an excuse for developers and investors to make money off building with no obligations whatsoever to those in need of affordable, secure housing. Dublin City Council must clamp down on its misuse.”