USI urges students to get housed asap

The president of the Union of Students in Ireland [USI], Kevin Donoghue, has urged families to get ahead of the curve on student accommodation, by seeking and securing places for the semester ahead as soon as possible.

Speaking during a leaflet drop to promote the USI’s free rooms listing website, ‘homes.usi.ie’, Donoghue explained: “The earlier you secure your bed for the year, the more chance you have of getting good accommodation close to your college.

“It stands to reason that good places closer to your chosen college will fill up first. After that you may need to make compromises on quality, price, and the commute to college.”

The USI’s warning was delivered just ahead of the release of the Leaving Certificate results on Wednesday, and just before next Monday’s CAO offers, amidst a growing crisis for accommodation in the nation’s major college cities and towns.

“There’s simply not enough student accommodation in our big towns,” said Donoghue. “Student numbers are rising, with more and more students having to turn to the already pressurised private rental market.

“Government support for people to rent a room to students is welcome, and we’re promoting the fact that up to €12,000 in tax free allowance is available to people prepared to rent their rooms to relieve the crisis.”

The USI is also warning that student supports need to be examined in light of accommodation issues: “The student assistance fund and the adjacency rates for grants are not sufficient to deal with the issues we will be facing in a few months time. Increased student supports are absolutely needed to alleviate the accommodation issue.”

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