Incoming welfare officer plans online platform to ease accommodation crisis

The housing market is in crisis as the amount of properties for sale decreased to the lowest point on record, according to the property agency Sherry Fitzgerald.

According to Marian Finnegan, chief economist of Sherry Fitzgerald, the amount of private properties available for sale fell by 13 per cent from last January.

Only 1.4 per cent of private houses were available for sale in January. The situation is the worst in Dublin, where only 0.8 per cent of the properties were available for sale.

According to a Sherry Fitzgerald study, investors are getting out of the business too. Investors are selling their properties faster than new ones are buying in to the business.

Cody Byrne, the incoming Welfare and Equality Officer of the Students’ Union is worried that this will reflect on student accommodation too.

“With regards the investors leaving the market, I do think that this is going to really hurt students,” said Byrne.

Byrne said that he would love to be able to house every student, but doesn’t think it’s realistic.

“Currently, what we are seeing is a rise in rent prices and a reduction in the number of houses available. My main focus is student accommodation more so than anything else.”

Byrne thinks that the system has to be taken into a more official direction and he wants to take the accommodation hunt away from Facebook into an official platform affiliated with the DCU website.

In addition to that he wants to educate students of their rights as tenants.

 Byrne hopes to work together with real estate agencies next year.

“I genuinely feel that establishing a positive rapport with the local real estate agents is key. It’s an additional step in providing more housing to students. It won’t fix the problem at hand in its entirety but it will certainly help,” said Byrne.

 

Sonja Sjogren

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