USI picture 2016

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) released a cry for help today on behalf of the new surge of students expected in 3rd level courses from next month onwards. CAO figures show a record number of students, 80,887, have applied to college this year – 877 up from 2015, but the shortage of student accommodation has never been so bad. With the Leaving Cert results due in five days on the 17th August, the USI is making a fresh call to the public to lease out spare rooms to students and make up to €12,000 annually tax-free under the Rent A Room Allowance initiative. Homeowners can go to for further details.

The Union of Students in Ireland said the shortage of student accommodation, especially in urban areas, has never been this bad – according to, on the 1st August 2016 there were 87 properties available to rent in Cork city – 1,000 fewer than on the same day six years ago. While USI has welcomed the funding for a Student Housing Project Manager announced by Ministers Simon Coveney and Damien English, it has emphasised that building new accommodation now needs to be prioritised.

“There has never been such a shortage of student accommodation across the country.” Annie Hoey, USI President, said. “We are urging anyone with a spare room to sign up for digs at Leasing out spare rooms is a very straight-forward process, especially for parents whose children have flown the nest, or who are attending college the other side of the country. The average cost of college is €11,000 and leasing out a room to a student will greatly help with this cost, as you can make up to €12,000 annually tax-free.”

USI said digs is a win-win for both students and homeowners – that students have all of the positives of living in a family home, and homeowners can make substantial money tax-free by simply uploading pictures of the spare room(s) with a brief room description and monthly cost. The process takes on average five minutes to complete on

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