Today, the CAO offers have been revealed and students and families up and down the country have been bracing themselves for the upcoming semester for one simple reason - accommodation.
Over 4 weeks ago, University College Dublin (UCD) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) student unions joined forces to combat the student accommodation crisis happening in Ireland. Barry Murphy, a UCD student exposed the conditions and situations that students have been facing as they try to find accommodation in Dublin through a Snapchat video series dubbed 'House Hunterz'. Now, the video series is back and they've uncovered even more horrendous 'housing' for students.
Katie Ascough, a UCD student, went undercover to film the "dodgy" house viewings after Murphy, the original exposé for 'House Hunterz', became too recognisable. Although Katie found spots in Crumlin that offered cheap accommodation in the low hundreds, the conditions were not livable or safe. One 'house' had a cooker and washing machine facing one another but without the adequate space to use either machine and another apartment had mould covering the bedroom walls.
Here is what Katie had to say about viewing some of the properties on offer around Dublin:
We went to a place in Crumlin where a bed was going for 250 a month. When we got there, we saw that the bed was located in the living room above the couch. It was a man made bunk bed. Basically, a grill of metal bars propped up by a cheap, DIY timber frame. It was in the living room because 6 other people were sharing the 3 available bedrooms. The place was an example of the lengths people are going to in Dublin. You have to go to ridiculous lengths to have an affordable rent if you're not able to cough up €1,500 per month, which is the average rent in the city. An average rent beyond the reach of the average student and a lot of workers.
UCDSU's continues to work alongside TCD SU on their €14K project with Daft.ie to increase the number of digs on the market. Minister Murphy has endorsed the project and funding has been arranged for the up coming weeks.
The students wish to meet with Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor for Higher Education in the hopes that the Department of Education and Skills will match the funding made available by the Department of Housing so UCD, TCD & Daft.ie can expand this project further and get even more beds on the market for the 1,000s of new entrants today from the CAO.. So far, the Minister for Higher Education has not met with either Student Union and TCD and UCD are hoping the new clips will change her position.
The main aim of the project is to introduce more digs to the market that are located in the primary residence of the homeowner. A "digs" room will normally have adequate living space, come with access to standard facilities and be of decent hygiene which is not being fully offered in the private rental sector.
UCD SU wants students who are returning to college or getting their CAO results to use services available if they're struggling to find decent accommodation. If you need assistance, contact [email protected] or 01 716 3170.