Senator Fidelma Healy Eames has encouraged homeowners in the Galway city area to consider letting out a room on a ‘digs’ basis to students for the college term.
“I expect there will be a considerable shortage of available accommodation for students in Galway as they begin the new college year,” Eames said. “Already before the college year has started at all, I am aware of individuals and families who are finding it difficult to source affordable accommodation.
“We really have a housing crisis and there are no short-term plans in place to resolve it. Thus, the need to appeal to homeowners to let rooms to students. With the Leaving Cert results out this week we will have a whole tranche of new first year students looking for accommodation.
“It is important that they find a suitable place to live so that they can settle into college life. Last year I was aware of some students ‘sofa surfing’ well ito the academic year. This is not a recipe for students who need to feel they belong in a place, and to study and apply themselves to their college course.
“There is now an attractive tax incentive available to homeowners who let rooms in their homes. Incomes of up to €12,000 tax-free for letting a room in one’s home is available. This is a good source of income and may suit homeowners in Galway city and its environs.
“Based on last year’s demand and the Students’ Union concerns intimated to me yesterday, I expect there will be strong demand for accommodation. It is up to every homeowner to source the student that best suits their accommodation arrangement.
“A family setting can be ideal for first year students, in particular, to help them settle into a new life away from home. Every family wants to know their young student son or daughter has a safe place to live.”