Student accommodation complexes in Dublin could be temporarily converted into co-living spaces, Dublin City Council has said.
The council said such a move would be “appropriate” in light of universities moving much of their lectures online and therefore the number of students moving into Dublin possibly decreasing.
A “temporary change of use” of student accommodation to co-living complexes will require planning permission.
The council said in a written answer to Cllr Darragh Moriarty that “in anticipation of a decrease in occupancy levels and having regards to the ongoing housing crisis, it is considered appropriate to consider a temporary change of use of this high quality accommodation to co-living, pending the return of the third level colleges/universities to more traditional teaching arrangements and student numbers.”
“As the majority of student accommodation schemes have the advantage of being well located within central locations, close to significant employment locations and public transport systems, they are well located for co-living schemes in principle”, the council added.
“While co-living schemes have characteristics similar to student accommodation, any change of use would require planning permission.”
Co-living complexes, the council said, have “higher minimum standards” than student accommodation. A conversion of existing student accommodation complexes to co-living spaces would require “alterations to ‘as constructed’ floor plans” or a reduction in occupancy levels.
Plans for co-living spaces in Dublin typically include private, ensuite rooms with shared living spaces and other amenities such as gyms. Plans to build co-living complexes in Dublin have attracted much controversy in Dublin since they were first mooted.
Last July, then minister for housing Eoghan Murphy faced backlash after he described the proposed developments as “trendy, kind of boutique hotel type place[s]”.
Fianna Fáil housing spokesperson Darragh O’Brien said the comment was “unbelievably out of touch”. Murphy subsequently said his comparison was “not a good one”.