Winters Property Management is taking the lead in addressing the rental housing crisis facing cities and colleges across Ireland. The company plans on rolling out a pilot scheme in Galway city, which may alleviate some of the pressure caused by the worst accommodation crisis in 15 years.
Managing director of one of Ireland’s largest letting agencies, Enda McGuane of Winters Property Management, has revealed that young professionals and returning students are snapping up what scarce rental properties there are — properties that would traditionally be the preserve of first year students.
Galway is at risk of losing out on its annual intake of third-level students, currently 28,000 annually, because the shortage of accommodation is leaving them with nowhere to live. “It’s a huge problem, not just in Galway but in colleges all over the country," Mr McGuane said. "What you’re finding is that first year students are choosing not to come to Galway and other colleges because they cannot get accommodation, and instead they are deciding to go to a college that is closer to home, so they can live at home."
That, coupled with a general shortage of houses, and the crisis in the city’s social housing waiting lists, means that prospective new arrivals are being "squeezed", according to Mr McGuane.
Mr McGuane pointed out that there has not been any building in Galway in the past 10 years, which is adding to the supply shortage.
Winters is planning to revive the rent-a-room-scheme near NUI Galway to help alleviate the problem. It held an information evening last night for homeowners with spare rooms in Newcastle and Salthill, in order to reveal details of the scheme.
“Winters Property as the country’s largest private operator of student accommodation are delighted to be part of an initiative which has the potential to benefit students, home owners and the economy of Galway city.”
Aengus Burns, partner Grant Thornton, was present on the night and offered invaluable tax advice to homeowners. “Grant Thornton were excited to get the opportunity to provide up to date tax advice to the public on this initiative which will support a vital part of the economy for Galway city," he said.