Over 60 local homeowners have opened their doors to desperate students in need of accommodation as a result of concerned statements made by Áine Daly, vice president for student welfare and accommodation at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT ), reached the public last week.
“Our phones have been ringing continuously since the exposure. It seems a lot of people simply didn’t realise that such an accommodation shortage existed in Athlone,” Ms Daly confirmed.
Since the increase in students attending the Institute has steadily inclined each year, the utilisation of housing in Athlone is more crucial now than ever.
As accommodation issues are mainly associated with cities like Dublin and Galway, Athlone is caught in the shadow of a serious housing crisis nationwide.
Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran responded to the upsurge in support for students with a positive tone, ensuring this help will change many students living situations for the better.
“It’s truly fantastic that this story has garnered such a positive response from the people of Athlone who have contacted the AIT in large numbers offering rooms in their homes to returning and new students from September.
“I have daily calls from families regarding the scarcity of affordable student accommodation in the locality so this news is most welcome,” the Deputy commented.
Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran confirmed that a site to the rear of the AIT had been identified with the aim of providing further housing to alleviate this problem.
“Together with my political colleague, Deputy Damien English, we have identified much needed land for housing development for the AIT. It is only practical that additional accommodation is provided.
The town needs the AIT and vice versa. Under the guidance of Professor Ciaran O’Cathain, the AIT has flourished and I am hopeful the college will attain university status in the future,” the Deputy concluded.
While Ms. Daly is delighted with the responses she’s received from the local community, she asks that landlords and homeowners keep coming forward to register their accommodation with the students’ union.
“There is still a massive need for beds for students in the area so I would urge people who have a spare room to come forward and register with us here at the AIT SU.
I would also ask that any incoming or returning students who are struggling to find accommodation please come and talk to us. We have a list of vetted and approved landlords on hand to help guide students. Don’t be worried, just get in contact.”
For anyone interested in renting out a spare room in their house to students, please contact Ms Daly by phone (090 ) 6468067 or email [email protected].