ONE Galway kick-started a housing campaign with a ‘camp-out’ by NUIG and GMIT students on Eyre Square, Galway City, today (Tuesday, 11th September), from 4.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. The ONE Galway movement which comprises trade unions, student unions and community groups also began collecting signatures demanding local politicians lobby for changes in the regulation of the housing sector and address the necessary structural changes. GMIT Student’s Union President, Aaron Burke, said: “The camp-out is symbolic of the need for more purpose built student accommodation. Tents by their nature provide very basic shelter and that is what students’ need, adequate safe and secure shelter, not luxurious apartments that are out of the reach of most people.” NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Megan Reilly, said: “We cannot stand by these luxury student accommodation providers taking advantage of the current crisis.  At this rate, people could be paying up to €1,250 per month for one room in one apartment; higher than most people’s monthly mortgage.  At the other end of the scale we have students who are living in hostels or commuting for several hours to go to college because they can’t afford to live in Galway.”  While the camp-out highlights the current challenges for students, an accommodation information and networking event in Monroe’s Tavern, Galway City, tomorrow, (Wednesday, 12th September), from 12.00 p.m. to 3.00 p.m., will provide students with much needed information, advice and supports to deal with the challenges they face.  Clement Shevlin from ONE Galway said: “Our movement feels that to really tackle the housing situation in Galway, we must develop a collective strategy and collaborative approach, where we are all moving in the same direction and are respectful and cognisant of the needs of all those impacted by this crisis.  The accommodation seminar sets out to achieve this and also to ensure local politicians take note, so we are delighted that the Mayor, Niall McNelis, has agreed to open this event for us.” He added: “This is where we will collectively voice our opinions to form one strong united campaign which will challenge the political establishment to act and act now.  We need to show them that we can no longer be ignored and demand strong action be taken immediately to address this crisis. Remember there are local elections in 2019 and we will be keen to show our support for those who came to the assistance of the most vulnerable in our society”.