Student rooms ‘in short supply’

A company that encourages home owners to let rooms to students has seen a surge in bookings in key university cities because of the worsening university accommodation shortage.

It follows a Higher Education Authority report that has forecast a “significant shortage” in third level student accommodation in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick over the next decade.

Homestay.comsays there will be around 25,000 students looking for accommodation when the CAO results come out next Monday.

Alan Clarke, CEO of the online accommodation provider, said: “We have noted an increase in booking requests from students over the course of the summer, particularly in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick. Normally students start looking closer to term-time but everyone is aware of the accommodation shortages and wants to get organised sooner rather than later.”

Homestay.com has more than 1,000 host households across the country, including 600 in Dublin, and is calling on more people to sign up as hosts to cater to the growing long-term student market.

Homeowners can earn up to €12,000 tax free by leasing out a spare room with the Rent-A-Room Relief scheme.

The CAO round one offers are due out on August 17, leaving limited time for students to secure accommodation before the start of the university term.

Eileen Kinsella, a Homestay.com host since 2013, has recommended hosting to her friends.

“I’m a stay-at-home mum and I’ve hosted six students and, honestly, it has made a big difference to my children’s lives,” said Ms Kinsella.

Demand for student accommodation is set to increase from 57,104 to 68,697, according to the HEA, mostly caused by the increasing numbers of international students being accepted by Ireland’s seven universities with guaranteed on-campus accommodation.

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