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Housing Minister visits Belfield’s new HFA funded student accommodation

Posted 05 November 2020

UCD students inside one of the University's new purpose-built student accommodation on Belfield campus

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD visited Belfield campus to see phase one of UCD’s new purpose-built student accommodation funded by the (opens in a new window)Housing Finance Agency (HFA).

The development, which comprises of 924 new student beds, is part of a €168 million HFA scheme to provide low-cost, long-term finance for student housing.

During his visit to Belfield, Minister O’Brien was joined by (opens in a new window)UCD President Professor Andrew Deeks, the Chair of the HFA, (opens in a new window)Professor Michelle Norris, and the HFA Board.

“Reiterating the ongoing significant commitment of this Government to Housing, under Housing for All we foresee the HFA’s role being enhanced in the area of student accommodation by allowing them to expand their remit to the newly created Technological University sector, which is a positive development for students and renters alike,” said Minister O’Brien.

The new units will add to UCD’s current 3,168 residential accommodation portfolio, bringing the availability of on-campus residences up to 4,147.

The residences comprise a mix of 4-14 bed apartments with ensuite study bedrooms and shared living room and kitchen, and 60 studio apartments for single or double occupancy.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD on campus, with Professor Michelle Norris, Chair of the HFA, and UCD President Professor Andrew Deeks 

UCD’s campus residences are allocated to approximately one third first year CAO students, one third continuing, and one third international students, with provision included for scholarship students, DAC (disability access certificate) students and Residential Assistants (RAs) who undertake community roles for students living there.

The proposed three phase development will increase student residential accommodation by 3,006 bedspaces, bringing the on-campus population to over 6,000 when it is complete.

It will include a village centre with shops, cafes, and social spaces, which is due to open in 2022.

“We are acutely conscious of the difficulty our students have in accessing rental accommodation in Dublin,” said UCD President Professor Andrew Deeks.

“With the support of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’s Strategic Housing Development System and the loan facility from the Housing Finance Agency, we see here the first phase of our proposed 3,000-bed village for students on Belfield campus.

“This development has a double benefit in that it provides a campus community setting for students to live and it relieves some of the pressure on the private rental market, making more homes available for others.”

HFA Chief Executive, Barry O’Leary added: “The HFA is delighted to work with UCD on this substantial and important development of student accommodation.

“We will continue to support the sector, including the Technological Universities as set out under Housing for All, with our long-term fixed rate funding in order to increase the delivery of such urgently required accommodation.”

By: Staff Writers