‘I find commuting exhausting and it really negatively impacts my studies’
We asked you to share your stories about the rental market with us and this is what you told us
Housing activists were removed from a Dublin city centre property that they had been occupying for three weeks. Photograph: Jack Power/The Irish Times
The latest homeless figures show that almost 10,000 people are accessing State-funded emergency accommodation. While this number represents a slight drop on the last figures released, it will be cold comfort for those still without a roof over their heads. It is only a few weeks since the Oireachtas Housing Committee was told that students are sleeping in cars and couch-surfing because of the housing crisis and the shortage of rental accommodation. We asked you to share your stories with us and this is what you told us:
Garrett: I am studying Psychology at the University of Limerick and my rent has increased dramatically since I first started. I stay in an off-campus private house in Castletroy with 4 other housemates. In my first year in 2015 I paid €260 per month excluding bills for a house that was so damp that any clothing item would become wet. I then went on my work placement for college to Cork City and paid €500 per month excluding bills. I then went on study abroad in the Netherlands and it was €440 for a huge room, well heated, clean and all bills included in the heart of Groningen. I since have just started my final year in 2018. Getting the house was actually very different this year. Before ever moving in, I had to find the room more than six months before college started. The landlord required us to pay €1650 to reserve the room and we felt like we had no choice because there was a big chance we might not get a place. Its an old house that was recently painted inside but that’s about it. Everything is from Ikea and cheap. The rent for this house is €445 a month excluding bills which brings it up to about €510. It is very over-priced for what is actually in the house. The on-campus rooms fill up very quickly and there does not seem to be any extra places being built in the area for students despite UL taking more students each year. I know so many people who are now commuting from Clare and Tipperary because they couldn’t find a place. I am from Dublin and sometimes think I should have just stayed at home to study, as I never expected Limerick to become so expensive to rent. There are no rent controls in Limerick, which seems crazy considering the fast rate at which prices are rising. I don’t think I will do my masters in Ireland as they cost of it could get me a better education elsewhere in Europe, with better living conditions. Limerick needs a lot more student rooms.
Student rental crisis - tell us your story
Eve: I’m currently studying at Trinity College Dublin, and I commute for between 1.5 and 2 hours there and back every day. I live in Newbridge, Co Kildare. Living in Dublin isn’t an option but I find commuting exhausting and it really negatively impacts my studies. Because of the commute I can’t work during the week, so I cram about 20 hours into a few days. I don’t get weekends. I skip college sometimes just so I can have a break from the travelling. I love my course and I love college, but commuting is so draining that I often end up skipping lectures to get the quieter trains. I can’t enjoy society events or go out with my friends in the evening. I’m constantly anxious about trains being delayed (which they always are) or cancelled altogether, not to mention that I have to then get a bus from Heuston, which is less than reliable.
Moign: I am pretty sure most of the students are going to tell their experiences about how difficult it is to find housing and the issues they face to get something suitable and I totally understand the difficulties around this subject. Luckily, my experience has been very positive. I moved to Dublin back in January 2016 to start my PhD programme and found a temporary accommodation in Glasnevin, a friend’s room who was away, for just 2 weeks. During this time I managed to find a double room in Santry which was a bit expensive and a bit far from my university. Eventually, my friend contacted me again to ask if I’d be willing to take the same room I was in before as she is moving out from there. I moved in again on a permanent basis in April 2016 and has been there ever since. My landlord is a very decent man and has been cooperative during all these years in terms of rent, tenants and amenities in the house. I truly wish there were more landlords like him here in Dublin.
Fia: I live in Arklow and am attending College in UCD. Although there are regular buses from Arklow to Dublin they are always overcrowded. its not too bad coming from Arklow to Dublin but from Dublin (UCD flye-over) to Arklow is terrible. I have waited at the bus stop on numerous occasions whereby the bus coming from Dublin is full so it just literally passes you by as you stand there in the rain. Two or more buses could pass you by therefore resulting in you having to wait for a bus for up to 3-4 hours. There is no accommodation available in Dublin so I have no option but to commute. I am studying Children & Adult Nursing so my degree is a 4 and and half year programme. I dread the thought of having to commute every day for the duration of my course.