The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have invited students across the Republic of Ireland to fill in their National Student Housing Survey to assess conditions and preferences.
On January 11, the USI launched the survey which focuses on five areas: demographics, accommodation status and conditions, satisfaction with current accommodation and past experiences of all students living and studying in Ireland, will be open for three weeks for students to fill in.
The housing crisis is negatively impacting study trends, academic performance and mental health of students. The high demand and shortage in supply of housing for students means some are left sleeping on friends’ couches, living in inadequate accommodation or enduring long commutes.
“With students paying up to 1,240 euro a month with If and When contracts students struggle to pay rents when they do find accommodation,” Daniel Waugh, USI Vice President for Campaigns said.
USI are planning on using the information to they collect to make an informed policy for the Student Accommodation Strategy. In the survey they are asking how much students are paying for bills and rent, the standards of living, types of deposits and if their landlords are registered with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
“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”, USI President Annie Hoey said.
The data collected from the survey will be used in a report that USI will present to Department of Education and Skills, HEA and the Department for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government to inform the Student Accommodation Strategy.
“The survey results will also inform local and national campaigns around housing like promoting our digs service homes.usi.ie, tenant rights and advice on seeking accommodation for students,” Waugh said, “the survey will also give USI an indication of what are the big issues beside finding accommodation and rent so we ensure students are living in socially acceptable conditions.”