Today (11 January 2017), the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has launched a National Student Housing Survey, inviting responses from students across the Republic of Ireland. The survey seeks to assess the housing situation of students across the country and preferences of students regarding their accommodation.

The housing crisis in Ireland has had a negative impact on studying trends, academic performance and mental health of students. The escalating cost of rent across Ireland, due to shortages of supply and an increase in demand, is forcing some students to commit to leases they can’t afford, sleep on friends’ couches, live in poor quality accommodation or endure long commutes. The lack of purpose-built on-campus accommodation, private sector rent increases and the shortage of rental properties continues to fuel a dropout culture in third level education.

Speaking at the survey launch, USI President Annie Hoey said: ‘The accommodation crisis is deterring students, especially those from rural areas, from going to college, and long commutes are already negatively affecting the quality of their college experience.

‘We want to assess the actual situation of students across the country. Housing cannot be treated only as a market, but is central to the experience of the student, and whether or not they thrive at college. Investment in student accommodation is investment in reduced rates of wasteful non-completion and increased rates of study success.’ added Hoey.

The National Student Housing Survey focuses on five areas: demographics, accommodation status and conditions, satisfaction with current accommodation and past experiences of all students living and studying in Ireland. It is divided into 6 modules: current study situation, current housing situation, finding a place, satisfaction with your accommodation, accommodation conditions, past experiences. The survey will be open for three weeks and is available here. By submitting responses, students may enter the draw to win an iPad mini or one of five €50 One4All Multi-Store Gift Cards.

NO REPRO FEE. Maynooth University, 30/08/2016. Pictured here at the launch of the USI and RTB Finance and Accommodation Guide were Annie Hoey, USI President (left), Ms. Rosalind Carroll, Director of the Residential Tenancies Board and Dillon Grace, Maynooth Students’ Union President with USI officers from across Ireland. The guide has a rent book and inventory checklist included, so students can record any damages or missing utensils at the start of the lease, and not be penalised unfairly on their deposit. The guide also provides information on finance and gives budgeting tips for students to financially manage the college year.  Pic: Alan Rowlette ENDS Contact: Annie Hoey, USI President, 087-6776636 Dillon Grace, Maynooth Students’ Union President, 01-7086436 Jack Leahy, USI Deputy President, 0861303101 For media requests email Fiona.omalley@usi.ie or call 0874495695 USI is the national representative body for the 354,000 students in third level education on the Island of Ireland.  We are a membership organisation – our members are our affiliated Students’ Unions around Ireland, North and South.

Notes:

USI aims to gather evidence of the current student accommodation, to feed into a report on current student housing situation, which will serve as evidence for the Student Accommodation Strategy, one of the actions of “Rebuilding Ireland, Action Plan For Housing and Homelessness” published by the Department for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government in July 2016. USI encourages all students to fill out the survey to ensure that the sample reflects the diversity of student population. Students can be in with the chance to win an iPad Mini or one of five all for one vouchers once the survey is complete.

The National Student Housing Survey is designed and launched by The Union of Students in Ireland (USI). USI is the national representative body for third-level students’ unions in Ireland. USI is the sole national representative body for students in Ireland. Founded in 1959, USI now represents more than 354,000 students in over forty colleges across the island of Ireland. The goal of the USI is to work for rights of students and a fair and equal third level education system in Ireland.  USI has campaigned on the issue of student accommodation since the 1970s and works with the RTB, Threshold and other organisations on the issue.

Please visit usi.ie or homes.usi.ie to find out about other activities of USI with regard to housing.

More info about the survey: http://usi.ie/studenthousing/. For media inquiries please contact campaigns@usi.ie or 01 709 9300.