21 Aug 2014




Student accommodation in crisis

By Ruth Baily

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has said that students are facing, “a serious shortage of accommodation.” The USI has asked the Government to form a taskforce on student accommodation to tackle the shortage.

House price rises in major the urban centres, particularly Dublin, have led to large rent increases. In Dublin alone rent has risen by 17% in the last 12 months. There is also 40% less accommodation available in the rental sector.  This in turn has made it more difficult for students to find affordable accommodation. Some landlords who previously rented to students have moved out of this market as it is more lucrative to let to young professionals.

The USI is calling on homeowners to rent rooms to students and has set up a free website to match willing homeowners and students. This service is free to both the homeowners and students.

In another initiative, students at UCD have set up a group called Generation Accommodation. They aim to match students with older people who have a room to spare. This provides housing to the student as well as company and a sense of security to the older person. It also provides a little extra income for the home owner.

The house supply shortage is having repercussions right across the community. There is not enough on campus or purpose built student accommodation to meet demand. In Dublin there is a student population of 80,000 made up of both undergraduate and post graduate students. Given the explosion in the student numbers in the past decade or so, it is perhaps time to look at providing more purpose built accommodation. This would provide cost appropriate accommodation and cut down on stress experienced by students looking for housing at the start of each academic year.

Until the housing supply shortage is tackled its effects will be felt in part every of the community.

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