With the annual rush for student accommodation growing simultaneously more competitive and more expensive since 2012, radical solutions need to be sought to address the systemic problems in the Irish housing sector. However, until then, and with the majority of the thousands of student beds promised by the government still a long way from construction, innovative solutions are urgently needed to ameliorate the emotionally, and financially, draining frenzy to find suitable college accommodation.
The Union of Students in Ireland has thus launched a campaign to help encourage homeowners to consider renting their spare-rooms out to students. While, traditionally, digs may not be a students' first choice when searching for accommodation, they will typically work out as by far the cheapest form of accommodation.
Homeowners are able to earn up to €14,000 per year, tax free, from renting rooms in their house to students - either on a five-day or seven-day basis. Given that the crisis in the housing market is most acutely prevalent in the towns and cities, it is in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford in particular that homeowners are being asked to consider letting a room in their property.