29 November, 2019 - National Student Accommodation Strategy

8,229 PBSA Bed Spaces completed by end Q3, 2019

Student Accommodation target for 2019 surpassed

 

The Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Housing and Urban Development, Damien English T.D. today released the end Q3 2019 progress report on the National Student Accommodation Strategy.

The National Student Accommodation Strategy (NSAS) complements the initiatives being taken by the Minister for Housing to increase housing supply under Rebuilding Ireland

Eight key targets and 27 actions are outlined which are designed to support the delivery of an increased level of supply of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) and an increase in take-up of digs accommodation. The target as set out in the NSAS is the provision of 7,000 bed spaces by end 2019 and a total of 21,000 additional PBSA beds by 2024.

As of the end Q3 2019:

 

  • 8,229 PBSA bed spaces had been completed since the launch of Rebuilding Ireland
  • 5,254 further bed spaces were under construction
  • 7,771 additional bed spaces had planning permission granted
  • 2,395 were at the planning permission application stage

 

These projects combine to a total of 23,649 PBSA bed spaces, demonstrating strong growth in the sector and enhancing the mix of accommodation available to students during a time of accommodation shortage in the general rental sector.

The Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. said: I am delighted that we have met and will exceed the targets for end 2019 as set out in the National Student Accommodation Strategy. In the last three years more than 8,000 new bed spaces for students have been delivered, this is an important step in enhancing the availability of accommodation for students. There is still work to be done, and we will continue to work with the sector to increase our supply of student accommodation.

“Quality and price of accommodation must go hand in hand with the increased level of supply, and we are working to address these areas. Rent predictability measures now apply to students living under license in student accommodation for the first time, and those students now also have recourse to the dispute resolution services of the RTB.”

The Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Damien English T.D. said: “I welcome the news that the 2019 goals for the NSAS have been surpassed. With our third level population continuing to grow, having a strong pipeline of student accommodation projects moving through the planning system and on to construction and occupation is crucial in freeing up space in the wider rental market. These Q3 figures show that the strategy is working to increase our supply of purpose-built student accommodation.”

 

Notes for the Editor

 

A link to the Q3 Progress Report is available here: https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/national-student-accommodation-strategy-progress-report-q3-2019.pdf

 

The National Student Accommodation Strategy (NSAS) is a key action in the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland:  Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.  Launched in July 2017, it was developed by the Department of Education and Skills together with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, as well as key stakeholders to introduce measures to support the delivery of an increased level of supply of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). 

The NSAS is designed to support the delivery of an increased level of supply of PBSA by reducing planning barriers for public and private sector developers of student accommodation and seeking to address financing barriers for our HEIs. The NSAS also complements the various initiatives being taken by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to increase housing supply.

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019, enacted earlier this year, contains provisions designed to ensure that registered students residing in purpose-built student-specific accommodation let under licence during academic term-time will be able to avail of the same rent predictability measures as other tenants.

Rent Pressure Zones, which regulate rental increases to a maximum of 4% p.a., have a legal basis under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (as amended). The Act applies to tenancies, subject to a limited number of exceptions but it does not apply where a dwelling is occupied by a person under an arrangement which is not a tenancy. A licensing arrangement is typically applied in many types of student accommodation due to the short-term nature of residency.

The amendments to the legislation include the incorporation of student licence arrangements for student specific accommodation into Rent Pressure Zones and the application of dispute resolution procedures under the 2004 Act to purpose built student accommodation occupied under licence agreement.

The National Student Accommodation Strategy is available at http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/National-Student-Accommodation-Policy.pdf

Further information on the changes to rental legislation in relation to students, living under license in student specific accommodation may be found at

https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/new-changes-to-rental-legislation/student-specific-accommodation/