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UCD to Rent Privately to Provide Student Housing

Posted by Aisling Murphy in

Image courtesy of Flickr, (View licence)

University College Dublin (UCD) is currently exploring the option of renting several hundred beds from private landlords to offer accommodation for their students. The university is actively seeking solutions to address the shortage of available housing options for its students in the Dublin area.

There are already concerns that the current university stock of 4,100 beds will not be enough to cater for incoming first year students in September. Under the current accommodation crisis, students from further out rural areas are being forced to stay at home with their parents, and then being forced to undertake longer commutes into the campus.

The university's current supply has already been significantly increased in recent years, but has not been able to keep up with the increased number of students joining the university.

By leasing bedrooms from private landlords, UCD aims to alleviate the pressure on students struggling to find affordable and accessible accommodation close to the university. The move is part of the university's wider efforts to improve the overall student experience and ensure that students have access to safe and comfortable living spaces during their academic pursuits.

This decision by UCD comes as part of a larger effort to tackle the ongoing housing crisis in Dublin, which has been causing widespread concerns for both students and residents. The university hopes that by securing additional accommodation, it can help to alleviate some of the pressure on the rental market and provide much-needed support to its student community.

The university is currently in "open discussions" with private landlords in the area to rent their properties. The university would provide booking a support services in line with those offered to students who would reside on-campus.

David Kelly, the university's bursar and chief financial officer, said demand for shared rooms and "digs" style accommodation is also being explored amid a crisis that has become "much more acute in the last 12 to 18 months".

"We are looking at renting out other apartments and then sub-letting them to our students to simplify the process for them," David Kelly said.

"We would do the booking and we'd provide as much of the same facilities as we can provide here, but off-campus.

"We'd have residence assistance embedded within these blocks and support there for students that would require it, linking back to the professional services in UCD.

"We're just opening discussions with landlords at the minute so we're at very early stages, but we've done it in the past, it can be done, and it's something that might help our students."

The current issues are not unique to UCD or even Dublin, similar issues have been reported at institutions across the country. Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, president at the University of Galway, has previously commented on the increasing number of students choosing to study closer to home.