A student who had to postpone her place at Maynooth University because of the housing shortage has already started looking for a place to stay next September.
aitlin-Faye Maniti, 19, received a first-round CAO offer to study entrepreneurship, but has decided to take a gap year so she can save for rent and give some relief to her parents, who were trying to get her into business Looking for a place to help since February.
Ms Maniti, who is president of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU), said the rent crisis is putting “undue pressure” on students and spoiling the college experience.
She was surprised at how easy it was to get a reprieve, which she says underscores just how desperate the situation is.
“I have a classmate who is also struggling to find accommodation and when she called the college they gave her the option to look on Daft.ie or reschedule,” Ms Maniti said.
“It was surprising to hear this and as I was running my own deferral process, I spent three days writing an email to argue my case, but I ended up just having to fill out an online form.
“I was shocked at how easy it was to put off, which makes me concerned about what next year will be like.”
Ms Maniti currently lives in Letterkenny, Co Donegal and commuting was not an option. She started looking for a place to stay for next year as she doesn’t want to experience the same stress that she and her family have been going through this year.
“This is freshman week and it’s the week you start making new friends and integrating into college life, but students face this tremendous burden of still looking for housing and it spoils the whole experience,” she said.
“My parents are reassured that I reserved my place at college, but we don’t want to go through that process again.”
While initially disappointed at having to procrastinate, she said her role as ISSU President will help keep her busy during her year abroad.
“Ultimately, I made this decision for a number of reasons, including cost of living and accommodation. I was upset by the housing issue,” she said.
Some of the offers she received included one for €1,000 for a room at a dig site.
Maynooth University is about to offer around two spots to undergraduates and said it would be “preventive” to release deferral figures.
A spokesman said: “We appreciate that student housing remains an extremely difficult issue and are actively working to support all students through our home finder service, which puts students in contact with private sector providers and special bus routes to give more students the opportunity to commute.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/accommodation-is-what-tipped-me-over-the-edge-student-defers-college-course-due-to-accommodation-crisis-42011134.html “Housing tipped me over the edge” – Student postpones college course due to housing crisis