DCU says its students may have to reschedule their college places if they can’t find housing, as it has issued an appeal for its alumni to take advantage of the Rent-a-Room program to help alleviate the housing crisis.
The university has received nearly seven applications for every bed in its on-campus accommodations given the capital’s shortage of rental properties.
GAA star Ross Munnelly, director of alumni relations at DCU, warned that students will face long daily commutes and will not be able to “fully engage with the DCU student experience.”
The college encourages people with vacancies in their homes to take advantage of Revenue’s Rent-a-Room program.
“The process of renting a room is relatively simple and while normal rental laws do not apply to ‘accommodation’, the DCU Students’ Union has a model agreement that is useful for agreeing terms between landlords and tenants,” said Mr Munnelly.
The college plans to hold in-person informational sessions on September 14 for those considering renting a room on St. Patrick’s campus.
There will also be an online session.
The Sunday Independent reported that just 600 new student accommodation beds are set to be built in Dublin this year, more than half down from last year’s 1,350, according to research by estate agents Cushman & Wakefield.
The numbers were lower than the 2,300 built in both 2018 and 2019, stoking fears that purpose-built student accommodation in Dublin was drying up.
Opposition TDs have warned the government that the housing crisis is pushing young people out of university education.
Rose Conway-Walsh, Sinn Féin’s continuing education and higher education spokeswoman, said the party conducted a poll of 400 students who shared “shocking” stories about the rental market.
More than three-quarters (77 percent) of the students surveyed said that housing issues have affected their ability to complete their coursework. Almost eight in 10 students said they feel stress and anxiety because of housing issues, while 66 percent of students said they have considered dropping out or postponing their studies because of the difficulties in finding housing.
Just over half (53 percent) of those surveyed have not yet secured accommodation for the coming academic year.
“The results are shocking and reveal a grave and deepening crisis at the heart of our education system,” said Ms. Conway-Walsh.
“It’s clear that housing shortages are pushing young people out of higher education, with many delaying or dropping out altogether as they struggle to find suitable housing.
“Among the stories shared is a young man who decided to change his place at university after traveling six hours a day from Offaly to UCD. Another student had to drop out after being abused at an excavation shelter and was unable to make the journey from Mayo to Limerick.
“Across all of the stories shared, there is a clear sense of desperation and panic as the students fight against the clock and against all odds to secure housing they can find. Students shared heartbreaking stories about how they missed out on having a social life or being involved in their college community because they worked late to pay the sky-high rent or commuted hours every morning and evening from their family homes to college have travelled.”
She said the government “must act” to ensure all students have a suitable, affordable place to live close to their college.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/dcu-appeals-to-alumni-to-rent-out-rooms-to-current-students-as-accommodation-crisis-worsens-41965642.html DCU appeals to alumni to rent rooms to current students as housing crisis worsens