A SIGNIFICANT number of third level students from Kerry, and their parents, are facing financial ruin as they are still having to fork out for student accommodation despite the fact that universities and colleges have been closed due to Covid-19.
Cllr Michael Cahill said he has been contacted by a number of concerned students and parents who are struggling to pay as the students have lost part-time jobs during the college semesters and parents are also out of work.
“These jobs do not exist, the colleges are closed and they are still being charged,” he pointed out.
Cllr Cahill said the government should step in now to ensure that families are not forced to pay for a service that is not being availed of to ensure they have enough money to afford the necessities such as food and heat.
At the very least a fund should be put in place to reimburse the costs to struggling families, he insisted.
Cllr Cahill said that many of the houses, apartments and rooms that had been used for students could be taken over for use by members of the health service frontline staff who are not in a position to return home due to infection risks.
“In this way, the payment to the landlords will recompense them for allowing the students free from payment. In this way, these students may be able to afford to continue their studies at a later date and the landlords will have paying customers available for their accommodation,” said Cllr Cahill.
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