Most UCD students pay € 750 a month or more in rent, according to a survey.
he survey of nearly 1,000 students going to UCD found that 43% were not satisfied with their current living conditions, with the UCD Student Union claiming that the amounts their members paid each month for a place to live were unaffordable for many.
The union said high rents were having a “creeping impact” on education, the student experience and student mental health, and called for an end to what it described as “luxury buildings. “on campus and the introduction of stricter legal protections for students.
Some 63% of the students surveyed who were renters said they paid more than € 750 per month, and 53% of those surveyed said they had difficulty meeting their monthly accommodation costs.
Almost a fifth (18pc) said it was “extremely difficult”.
Almost half (43pc) of respondents said finding housing or problems with their current housing situation had a negative effect on their education, while 49pc said it had an impact on their student experience and 57pc said that it had a negative impact on their mental health.
“The results of this survey are the latest indication that the housing and affordability crises are far-reaching and have an extremely negative impact on UCD students,” said UCDSU President Ruairí Power.
“Students face exorbitant rents and precarious rental conditions, while many manage in substandard settings. The scale of the crisis demands immediate government action. An immediate ban on rent increases in RPZs [rent pressure zones] is late.
He said the survey highlighted the impact of finding housing and difficulty paying rent on academic progress and students’ mental health.
“Private landlords are not the only ones intervening, UCD charges excessive rents for housing on campus,” he added.
“Increasing supply is essential, but we also need to end the practice of only building luxury housing on college campuses. deposit protection system and replacement of the licensee system.
Sadhbh Mac Lochlainn, final year political and art history student, who rents privately, said: than studying for my degree.
“As the pandemic has continued for the past two years, everyone, including students, has spent more time at home working and studying. Where I live, I don’t have a heater in my room. The heater we have in the living room is a plug-in electric heater which is expensive to operate. This means that my roommate and I are constantly weighing the cost of heating against what we can afford and it has led me to fall ill with a lung infection the week before exams. My situation is not unique and neither is it the worst.
Durgesh Shantaram Ramani, a master’s degree student in engineering management, who sublets accommodation, said that as an international student he has had a hard time finding accommodation.
“Eventually I found someone who was willing to sublet their room for a few months. I had no choice but to go because I had neither the time nor the peace of mind to study the subjects and the exams of week 5/6 were imminent, ”he said.
Conor Ffrench, a final year engineering student, lives in accommodation on UCD’s campus in Merville and says he was lucky enough to get one of the cheapest packages, around € 7,600 for nine months. He says he can still only afford it because he gets a grant.
“It was only by chance that I was lucky enough to get this option as all the other accommodation options were way too expensive for me, I just couldn’t afford it. I can’t afford it. allow me the Merville residence only because I am a beneficiary of SUSI. But that still does not cover everything “, he declared.
He said the standard of accommodation was poor, there was no oven in the apartment for cooking, which forced him and his roommate to buy an air fryer and a portable oven, as well as drafts and cold windows causing mold and mildew on the curtains, which exacerbated his asthma.
“I’m definitely trying to leave campus next year because it’s not acceptable,” he said. “UCD only gives us two choices; paying dearly to live in poor quality or paying double to live in 5 star apartments. “
A spokesperson for UCD said the college had immense sympathy for the struggle students had to find and afford accommodation in Dublin.
She said that in some cases whether a particular apartment on campus had an oven depended on when the block was built, and some older units did not have an oven.
“The blocks were built at different stages and for some the best practice was not to have ovens,” she said.
Regarding the mold complaint, she said the wall vents should be kept open to allow air circulation to prevent mold, and the college would follow up on the complaint raised.
“You don’t need to have it open all the time, but it also shouldn’t be closed permanently,” she said, adding that if there was a mold problem it would be fixed. before the student returns after Christmas.
On the issue of high rents, the college said there are now around 4,000 accommodation units on campus.
“The main factors that influence the rent are the cost of construction and maintenance,” said the spokesperson.
“We were trying to increase the number of places on campus because of the lack of availability for students.
“We now have 4,000 seats and the prices are different. Right now, the price of construction is at an all time high, which doesn’t help matters.
“In most of the recently built blocks there are a small number of units that can double. Most are single occupancy, but that’s what we’ve found students want.
“We have enormous sympathy for the difficulties that students have in finding accommodation as there is a wider problem of availability for our students. “