Rising Rents and Cost of Living Force many International Students into Overcrowded Accommodation

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Overcrowding, high rents, poor quality accommodation and lack of properties available to rent among major issues affecting students in Ireland

With soaring rents and lack of availability forcing many international students to live in overcrowded accommodation, the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) are today calling for urgent action to be taken on the student accommodation crisis.

Almost half of all English language students that took part in an ICOS survey at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic said they were sharing a room with three or more people.

That research also found that 11 per cent of these students were sharing a room with six or more other people, while only 10 per cent had their own room.

And with the recent Daft.ie report highlighting the stark increases in rents nationally and the lack of available properties to rent, the situation is at crisis point.

A December 2020 RTE undercover investigation highlighted the shockingly overcrowded conditions of migrants living in Dublin, many of whom were international students.

The current legislation on overcrowding dates back to 1966 and is clearly not fit for purpose. An Overcrowded Housing Bill was put forward in 2018, but that Bill is still only at Committee Stage.

ICOS and USI are urging Government to take action on this issue to protect students from being further exploited. 

ICOS Executive Director, Laura Harmon, said: "International students are more vulnerable when it comes to accommodation as they often arrive in Ireland with little knowledge of the rental market landscape, meaning they run a higher risk of being scammed or exploited. Rising rents and a lack of available properties to rent forces many students to live in overcrowded accommodation. We urgently need a review and overhaul of current legislation on overcrowding, which dates from 1966 and is no longer fit for purpose."

USI PresidentClare Austick, said: "USI has said time and again that the student accommodation crisis is currently the worst it has ever been. The appalling overcrowding international students are facing is not okay and must be addressed by Government action. Students cannot afford accommodation in Ireland right now and international students are so much more vulnerable as they often don't have much support and feel they have to take beds in overcrowded rooms to put a roof over their heads. Immediate action must be taken on this and other student accommodation issues, so that students can live in proper conditions while trying to get an education."





Notes for editors:


According to Eurostat statistics, Ireland has the second lowest level of overcrowding in Europe, yet due to the cost of renting in Dublin, and other major cities in Ireland, many international students are forced to live in overcrowded and unsafe conditions.


About ICOS

The Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) is an independent advocacy organisation whose mission is to protect the rights of international students, and to contribute to a vibrant international education sector in Ireland which has the quality of the student experience at its centre.  ICOS has 27 institutional members, including all nine universities in the Republic of Ireland, and many of the Institutes of Technology and independent third level colleges. Our membership also includes the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). ICOS’ values include: consultation, collaboration, learning, and accountability, and our goals are to influence policy and standards in international education; build the capacity of our members; empower international students to pursue their rights; and support and showcase the important contribution of international education to international development.

For further information please contact  ICOS Executive Director, Laura Harmon, on Ph: 0861738455 Email: lharmon@icosirl.ie



About USI

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) represents over 374,000 students across the island of Ireland.

For further information please contact USI Communications and PR Manager, Martina Genockey, on  Ph: 086 033 3942 Email: pr@usi.ie 


News type
ICOS Press Release