The cost of renting new student apartments in Cork city centre has been criticised by UCC Students' Union (UCCSU).
Naoise Crowley, welfare officer at UCCSU, criticised the price of the new Lee Point development on the former Beamish & Crawford Brewery site, with some apartments setting students back close to €10,000 for a 38-week academic term.
For the cheapest available room, a standard en suite, students would be shelling out €228 per week or €3,876 for a 17-week term starting in January 2020.
The option of booking for 38 weeks, from August 28, 2020, to May 21, 2021, is available too, with the room increasing in cost to €237 per week, or €9,006 for the 38 weeks.
The ground floor room comes with "loads of storage space, a double bed and well-equipped lounge/kitchens", according to the ad on unineststudents.ie.
At the top of the scale is the premium-plus room. For students moving in for 18 weeks from January 10, this will cost €247 per week or €4,446 for the term. For those moving in for the 38-week period starting on August 28, 2020, it is €256 per week or €9,728 for the 38 weeks.
These rooms for a minimum of €247 per week are the biggest available and are part of an apartment with "five or six bedrooms".
A statement issued by Uninest Student Accommodation said:
UCCSU said it is disappointed to see more high-cost student rentals appearing in the city.
"The proliferation of this trend towards accommodation that is unaffordable to the vast majority of the students we represent is massively concerning. We recognise that there is a significant shortage in student accommodation in Cork, however, this accommodation isn’t a feasible option for most students," said Mr Crowley.
"Again, this crisis has knock-on effects on student financial hardship, mental health and ultimately access to education."
The criticism came just days after UCCSU launched a food bank to help students who are struggling to make ends meet.