Offaly students facing rent price hikes
As hundreds of Offaly students consider their CAO offers this week ahead of taking up college places next month, a new report released by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) finds that 20% of students experience unexpected rent increases.
36% of students needed one to three months to find their accommodation, with one in five students starting their search for accommodation in August.
USI is urging students who have accepted their CAO offers to start looking for accommodation immediately, in order to beat the rush to secure bed spaces ahead of college.
The average cost of college is €12,500, and USI research shows 75% of students pay for their own accommodation during term time, while 58% of students declared the monthly cost of accommodation of €251-500.
Half of them have an income not exceeding €500 a month. The Union say the cost of accommodation is proving difficult for students, and the cost of rent is leaving no money for food, travel or books.
The report also states that 2% of respondents pay over €1,000 a month for their accommodation, while over 20% of students experienced unexpected rent increases. In terms of deposits, 36% students do not get receipts for their deposits with €400 being the average for a deposit.
USI President Michael Kerrigan said, “The issue of housing permeates across all groups of our society. In recent years, the shortage in student accommodation has forced students, families and professionals to race for accommodation, and compete for somewhere to live. In many instances, this competition has pushed students to take accommodation that exists outside of their price range, or to drop out of college.”
“More than 25,000 students have already accepted their college places yesterday from the CAO," Kerrigan added. “There is still a shortage of accommodation, and students are being crammed into small spaces, with harsh living conditions and horror stories of the state of living."
"While most of the accommodation has already been taken up, anyone who has already accepted their place at college should start making arrangements for accommodation right now before term starts to avoid disappointment.”
IADT student, Wednesday Montague, said, “I'm from Offaly and I travel 4 hours to college and 4 hours back every day, all because of unaffordable accommodation. The excessive travel and stress from missing college because of travel had put me in the hospital. The shortage exists, but cost is a factor too.”
The union are advising students to go onto websites like Daft.ie and Students’ Union Facebook groups for renting, and to check free websites like homes.usi.ie for digs as useful sources to find accommodation.
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