The scale of the student housing crisis has taken a toll on a young art student and her family.
ary Kate Lacey, 20, is due to start her second year at University College Cork (UCC) in two weeks, but the Tralee native is still without a place to stay and is worried time is running out.
Ms Lacey knows college-goers who are facing the same situation in other university cities, including Galway, Waterford and Limerick, and said they feel ignored by those in power.
Last year she secured accommodation for 35 weeks for 6,000 euros. So far this year, however, Ms Lacey has applied to “over 20” rental spaces.
I’ve shut down every system and there’s just nothing
“Only one of them had availability and they asked for €9,500 for 35 weeks. That’s a massive increase over last year because there’s so much more competition. Her stress levels just went through the roof,” she said.
“I called landlords to get a room in a house, but to no avail. There aren’t that many excavations. There’s a whole campaign for homeowners to do the excavation system, but not too many are available. So I shut down every system and there was just nothing.”
Ms Lacey worked part-time during her freshman year in Cork City and spent all summer working full-time from home in Tralee to save for that year.
She’s been offered her part-time job again, but she can’t take it yet because she doesn’t know “where she’s going to be”.
The government is not listening, none of the ministers are listening
If she’s unable to secure accommodation in the coming weeks, she faces a six-hour round trip and admitted she’s considered postponing “hundreds of times”.
“It’s something I don’t want to do. It’s a last resort. All the way through high school you want to go to college, get a degree, improve yourself and your kids, but those are the circumstances, either travel six hours a day or put off a year and hope for the best next year. She said.
“The government is not listening, none of the ministers are listening.
“The best resource I found from college was the fraternity. Nobody wants to face what’s really going on. Hundreds of homeless students across the country and no one wants to admit it.”
She added: “My brother is in Leaving Cert and I hope next year will be easier for him. My whole family is stressed.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/my-stress-levels-are-through-the-roof-says-student-who-still-hasnt-found-place-to-live-with-two-weeks-to-start-of-term-41945952.html My stress level is through the roof, says a student who still hasn’t found an apartment two weeks before the semester begins