Government may introduce measures to help students find accommodation

Eoghan Murphy at the "Topping Out" ceremony for Charlemont Street Regeneration Project in Dublin with Sean Reilly, Executive Chairman of McGarrell Reilly. Pic:

The Government is considering new measures to help students to find accommodation.

As the colleges return students have had difficulty finding somewhere to live, with some resorting to couch surfing or staying in hostels.

Earlier the Housing Minister launched 79 new social homes at an apartment block on Charlemont St in Dublin.

There Eoghan Murphy encouraged people with a spare room to consider renting it to students.

He said: "We're looking at a couple of things that may be announced next week that might help students, but the room release scheme, the €14,000 tax free is a really good scheme.

"We've been pushing that, and we're going to push it more, because there is an opportunity there for students to get safe and secure accommodation.

"It also incentivizes the use of what might be spare bedrooms in people's house, so there are a couple of more things we can do, but I recognise it is difficult for them at the moment."

Along with the 79 housing units opened today, a range of community facilities were also unveiled.

These include a large community centre featuring a sports hall with indoor five-a-side pitch, changing rooms and stage facilities - as well as office space with kitchen area and reception area.

The complex will also feature a private courtyard and play area for residents.

All remaining residents of Tom Kelly Road flats, some of whom have lived there since they opened in 1969, will move to new and upgraded homes.

Work on the project has been proceeding ahead of schedule, and Department of Housing says the units will be ready in the coming weeks.

Minister Murphy said: "This is a very welcome milestone in the regeneration of the Charlemont Street area, delivering 79 much needed homes along with vital community amenities for residents.

"This Government is determined that the State will fund more direct-build schemes. We have ring-fenced over €5bn between 2016 and 2021 to increase the total number of social houses in the State by a third over that five-year period.

"We currently have 63 developments on site which are delivering 2,400 social homes, and there are over 10,000 new homes in the programme to be delivered over the next few years."

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