Irish Student Housing Crisis Back In The Spotlight

Stephen Fuery, Marketing Executive, TCAS Online

7th September 2016

The Irish student housing crisis rages on and if anything it is set to get worse. Once again students across Ireland are receiving their offers of places at universities and once again they can’t find anywhere to live.

Last year the newspapers in Ireland were full of horror stories of students living out of their cars, or being forced to share beds with strangers just to have a roof over their head. It seems likely that those stories will re-emerge in the upcoming months as many students have already taken to social media or phoned in to radio shows to complain that they are struggling to find any accommodation for the upcoming university year.

The rental market in Ireland continues to be a high demand, high price market place which appears to either price students out of the market or means they are unable to find anywhere to stay at all. As many students rely on help from parents, or even bank loans to pay for rented accommodation, the situation is threatening to financially cripple a generation. There are social and political implications to that mainly that it undermines government efforts to get home grown students into higher education and keep them studying and then working in Ireland. With student accommodation much easier to come by and much more affordable in the UK, many Irish students opt to study across the Irish Sea.

“A student in rented accommodation ”

The Union of Student in Ireland has been running a campaign aimed at getting households with a spare room to rent it out at a reasonable price to students during term time. Whilst this may offer a short term solution for students struggling to find a place to rent, in the long term this approach isn’t ideal.

The Irish government really needs to look at the issue and to drive forward developments in the major university cities in the country. Rather than having the country’s student rely on a bloated and failing rental sector, the Irish government should be investing in a long term solution, namely the development of specialist student accommodation complexes.

“The Union of Students in Ireland has been running a campaign aimed at getting households with a spare room to rent it out. ”

Long term thinking, easing planning restrictions and attracting investors and developers is now the only option if the government doesn’t want this crisis to occur year after year and to risk an even larger exodus of young talent away from Ireland to the UK and other foreign countries.

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