The lack of student housing is leading to a “college disaster,” the student union says as it embarks on a “dig.”

The lack of available student accommodation has created a “college disaster”, the University College Dublin Students Union (UCD) has said.

As a result of the “failure of successive governments” to address this problem, the campus experience of a growing number of third-cycle students is “at risk”.

It comes as the student union has appealed to homeowners to consider renting a room to students for the upcoming academic year.

The union launched a “dig” this morning, urging homeowners in Dublin to make vacant rooms available to students in September if they are able to.

It has arranged a “bulk brochure drop-off” in areas near UCD and in areas with good public transport access.

UCD Student Union President Molly Greenough said access to “safe and affordable” housing will “empower students to excel in their academic pursuits”.

“We urge homeowners to consider housing a UCD student through the Rent-A-Room Relief program prior to this academic year,” she said.

Ms Greenough also reiterated the call for a “reasonable reduction” in the student contribution ahead of the upcoming academic year.

“Putting the money right back into the pockets of the students and their families is the most appropriate emergency measure,” she said.

“A cut of just €500 would only cover around two weeks’ rent from the overwhelming majority of student accommodation providers.

“We would like the minister to go much further and make a meaningful cut so students can make their own decisions about how to make the best of a really bad situation.”

The Welfare Officer said UCD’s student union receives “dozens” of inquiries every day from students looking for accommodation.

Returning students begin the academic year on September 12, while freshmen begin on September 19.

Míde Nic Fhionnlaoich said that students who cannot find housing are being forced to take leave, postpone their courses or drop out.

“In our housing survey last year, a quarter of respondents who commute traveled more than an hour in each direction to get to the university,” she said.

“Some reported doing a four-hour round trip every day. Nobody can apply for a degree under these conditions. That was last December. The students and their families are breaking down physically, financially and mentally.” The lack of student housing is leading to a “college disaster,” the student union says as it embarks on a “dig.”

Fry Electronics Team

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