National Student Housing Report 2017

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The survey was designed in online software – Survey Monkey – and distributed through a link among all the students through on-line channels, such as e-mail, website and social media. The link was active for three weeks. Out of the population of 225,641 students we collected 3,597 responses (at a level of 2% margin of error and 99% confidence level)

USI President Michael Kerrigan said, “The issue of housing permeates across all groups of our society. In recent years, the shortage in student accommodation has forced students, families and professionals to race for accommodation, and compete for somewhere to live. In many instances, this competition has pushed students to take accommodation that exists outside of their price range.”

“More than 25,000 students have already accepted their college places yesterday from the CAO.” Michael Kerrigan, USI President, said. “There is still a shortage of accommodation, and students are being crammed into small spaces, with harsh living conditions and horror stories of the state of living. While most of the accommodation has already been taken up, anyone who has already accepted their place at college should start making arrangements for accommodation right now before term starts to avoid disappointment.”


Current housing situation

  • 33% of students live in purpose-built accommodation (PBSA)
  • 31% in privately rented accommodation
  • 7% in digs *The number of homeowners availing of tax free income from rent-a-room scheme have risen by 4,160 between 2004 and 2015.

Accommodation choices

  • 23% chose their accommodation because it suited their needs perfectly
  • 25% chose their accommodation because it was close to their college
  • 24% – they couldn’t find anything else
  • 4% – time pressure
  • For almost one in 10 students the accommodation that they’re staying in is or may not be permanent.
  • 9% of students choose accommodation based on affordability


  • 41% ranked PBSA as their first accommodation option
  • 27% would choose privately rented accommodation
  • 43% of students chose digs as the least preferred option

Students without accommodation

  • 38 students stated they have no accommodation
  • They sleep in friends’ couches/floors and cars
  • In two cases students stated they sleep on the streets
  • 429 out of 7,000 homeless on the night Census 2016 was taken were students.

Lease/license agreements and RTB

  • 70% students in PBSA have a signed lease agreement
  • 9 in 10 respondents have signed an agreement in digs-style accommodation
  • Less than half of those who stay in privately rented accommodation, have signed a written contract
  • 26% of students don’t know if their property has been registered with RTB (in privately rented accommodation)

Cost of accommodation

  • 75% of students pay for their own accommodation during term time
  • 58% of students declared the monthly cost of accommodation of €251-500; half of them have an income not exceeding €500/m
  • 2% of respondents pay over €1000
  • Over 20% of students experience unexpected rent increases.
  • €400 – average deposit
  • 36% students do not get receipts for their deposits

Finding a place

  • Over one-fifth of student did not look for accommodation at all
  • 36% looked for accommodation for up to three months
  • 20% of students start looking in August
  • 24% of the respondents stated they found mould in their accommodation;
  • 21% – inadequate heating, dampness and;
  • 19%– high level of noise.