The president of UCD students union has hit back at the head of Dublin City Council in a row over student accommodation being used for short-term letting.
UCD SU was highlighting issues students were having getting accommodation, and said it "seriously questions the mentality of the council executive who have elected to bend over backwards to facilitate the profit margins of a private company to the detriment of the public."
In response, Owen Keegan the council CEO said the local authority takes each temporary change of use application on each's merit, before in the following letter suggesting the student union should enter the housing market if they believe excessive profits are being made.
DCC CEO Owen Keegan’s innovative solution to the housing crisis is…. Students’ Unions becoming property developers.
— Ruairí Power (@RuairiPower_) October 11, 2021
The SU President Ruairi Power tweeted a selection of the final letter this afternoon - which has provoked a lot of reaction online.
It's also got a reaction from Higher Education Minister Simon Harris, who has he fully agrees with the SU - and said dismissive and sarcastic comments are not helpful.
Fully agree with @UCDSU. Student accommodation must be for students. Students raised this with @DarraghOBrienTD & myself & Darragh issued a circular to ensure this. Lots of work underway & needed to make improvements. Dismissive & sarcastic comments don’t help https://t.co/Vn1JxYqyVt
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) October 11, 2021
Dublin City Council has not commented on the claims from UCD SU.