Students at Munster Technological University in Tralee have been told that their accommodation for the next academic year will no longer be available because the “owners have decided to take back their houses for the purposes of long-term letting”.
The Kerry Lee Student Village provided beds to 54 students in a town with a very limited private rental sector and at the time of writing there are only 11 properties for rent available in Tralee and surrounding areas on Daft.ie.
The students had already paid their deposits and Union of Students in Ireland President Beth O'Reilly said the situation was “very stressful” for those affected:
“The Students’ Union in MTU Kerry have been extremely worried about the fact that there’s 54 who were told and assumed that they had a place to live for the upcoming year and now have to search in the private market for beds that aren’t available,” she told The Pat Kenny Show.
Problem across Ireland
The student housing crisis is now so acute that the Provost of Trinity College has warned that it is “eroding university life”.
Earlier this year NUI Galway advised students that they should consider looking for room in places as far away as Tuam and An Spidéal if they cannot find anything in the city itself.
“The most amount of emails and calls that we’re getting from students and their parents as well is all about accommodation,” Róisín Nic Lochlainn, then NUIG’s Student Union President, told Lunchtime Live.
“There is just absolutely nothing and I think the fact that NUI Galway have recommended people to live in Spiddal and Moycullen, I think that just reflects how bad the crisis has gotten.
“The fact that those places are the places that are being recommended to live now and NUI Galway did a survey there just a few months ago and it showed that in 2016 72% of students were living within 5km of the college and now only 50% are living within 5km.”
Main image: Student accommodation.