The Union of Students In Ireland made a recent plea to homeowners to take in their members as boarders. All due to the accommodation crisis across the city. They even set up a dedicated website to advertise this new cohort of digs.
Maybe in indication of take up of the scheme, the site appears to be knocked off line at the moment. USI is an organisation that looks to have turned a corner, shedding its previous image as an IBEC supporting monolith of rank reaction. Its social media feed over the past while has featured solidarity with Greyhound workers, officer board members speaking out for choice and Gaza and a national campaign that focuses on the worth of education to society rather than the market.
Older readers will remember the madcap dash to find accommodation after you got your offer, as the points race ended, the rush to find a roof began. Dark days of hunting out shitty gaffs from the back of the Evening Herald, long queues and late landlords and wasted phone credit.
It might come as a bit of a shock that students are reliving some of those dire days right now. Laura Harmon, president of the organisation explained it well in a press release recently:
“The Union of Students in Ireland has begun a major push and information drive to encourage home-owners in Dublin to consider housing a student during term-time. The call out is necessary as the student population in Dublin faces a serious shortage of accommodation, with CAO offers and the subsequent start of the academic year just a few short weeks away. Speaking ahead of the first information drive in Dublin city centre.”
“This is an access-to-education issue. The cost of accommodation in and around Dublin has risen enormously, pricing many students out of the accommodation market. Many “buy-to-renters” have repurposed accommodation they had previously made available to students for wealthier renters. To compound this, the value of the student grant has fallen against inflation over a number of years. The end result will be students unhoused and dropping out. USI is calling for the government to form a task force on student accommodation – there needs to be a specific strategy on this serious and growing problem.”
One of our readers sent us this Daft link to illustrate how landlords are scalping students:
“Not sure how interested you are in this. The USI have made an urgent plea to landlords to rent to students. Seems landlords are willing,but for crazy prices, this rental is €900 a month per person in a sharing room (which is the average rent price for a 1 bed apartment in the city). But you know, it’s cool, breakfast and linen are provided….after 5 years of college I can tell you the average living expense is 80 euro a week, add that to a reasonable sharing twin room of €300p/m (based on daft average and €480 for a single room) this property works out at approx 250 euro more than the average for a twin room to rent plus living expenses (travel, bills, food, socialising). Even allowing for the expenses the landlord would face for 4 people (heat, water, waste, food) she is still making over €3000 a month for this 4 bed (outside the city centre) house. Outrageous. I hope it’s a piss take.”
So, what’s it like out their folks? Is this advert from Daft a realistic gauge of the situation for students? What parts of the city are worse? Is it a Dublin phenomenon?
Do let us know.