Some UCC accommodation in breach of gender bias law

A multitude of Irish male-students have encountered an apparent gender-bias in their search for accommodation for the college year.

This gender-discrimination has been experienced by students at University College Cork (UCC). According to the UCC Express, a number of the properties that are available in the UCC Accommodation scheme were in breach of the law for their discriminatory advertising which advertised solely for female students.

Out of the 14 houses to rent, five of those advertised specifically for female renters. Discriminating against tenants on the grounds of gender breaches the Equality Status Act 2008.

It is not only students in Cork who have encountered this prejudice, male students across Ireland are recognising that females are often deemed a more favourable tenant than males by many landlords.

This prejudice is an evident concern for students in Dublin also. DCU communications student, Daniel Duffy spoke to The College View about his encounter with gender discrimination.

On his housing search Duffy said: “An awful lot of places didn’t want lads, I rang up one woman about a place and she said: ‘it was gone’ I went to hang up and she said ‘but if you know any girls there’s a place here’.”

Duffy resents the assumption that females are perhaps deemed cleaner and more responsible tenants: “I lived with a girl last year and she was a hell of a lot dirtier than we are”

Duffy’s search has been unsuccessful so far, leaving him to commute from home. The gender-discrimination has played a part he explained:“Either you have to be a girl or you’re paying for rubbish.”

The DCU accommodation page was set up to help students in their quest to find somewhere to stay. On this page, Landlords can advertise spare rooms and students can express that they are seeking accommodation. A large number of posts are to be found which advertise a room available exclusively for a female tenant.

A recent post reads: “ *Room available*, Female only.” The student accommodation crisis has been felt greatly this year by many who are still left without accommodation as the school year has begun.

Katie O’Neill

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