Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (401)

Bernard Durkan


401. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which it is expected to provide student accommodation on site to facilitate NUI Maynooth and other universities nationally with particular reference to focus on meeting student accommodation needs at reasonable rent levels, which can have the dual benefit of assisting the general housing market and education system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20127/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The National Student Accommodation Strategy was launched in July 2017 by Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor T.D. and Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Damien English T.D. and includes eight key targets and 27 actions to support the delivery of an increased level of supply of Purpose Built Student Accommodation and an increase in take-up of digs accommodation.

The Strategy includes policy measures to increase the supply of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), including addressing the planning and development finance aspects in assembling new development projects.

Amendments to planning regulations under the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 were commenced in July 2017 and the Act introduced a new fast-track planning procedure for strategic housing developments, which includes student accommodation projects containing 200 or more bed spaces. This Act also provides for Higher Education Institutes to borrow from the Housing Finance Agency for the purposes of the development of PBSA.

As of the end of Q1 2019:

- 6,362 PBSA bed spaces have been completed

- 6,154 further bed spaces are under construction

- 6,450 additional bed spaces have been granted planning permission

- 2,210 are at the planning permission application stage

Of the above figures, a total of 1,079 PBSA bed spaces have been delivered by Higher Education Institutions since the launch of Rebuilding Ireland in July 2016 (UCD-354; MU-296; NUIG-429). In addition to this there are 924 bed spaces in development (UCD) with plans approved for a further 1,194 bed spaces for the same institution.