Student housing crisis: Sleeping in cars and driving 4 hours to class

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The Dublin housing crisis has reached a peak, with a report from Daft.ie today showing that rent in the capital has increased to an average of €1700 per month. 

Students are currently pouring into Dublin from all over Ireland, embarking on another year in further education, and simultaneously needing somewhere to rent while doing it. 

A new report released by the Union of Students in Ireland found that 36 per cent of students needed one to three months to find their accommodation, with one in five students starting their search for accommodation in August.

The report also found that some students resort to sleeping in cars or on floors due to lack of affordable housing. 

1 in 5 students also experienced unexpected rent increases during college.

USI is urging students who have accepted their CAO offers to start looking for accommodation immediately, in order to beat the rush to secure bed spaces ahead of college.

58 per cent of students declared the monthly cost of accommodation as being €251-500. Half of those asked have an income not exceeding €500 a month. 

The Union say the cost of accommodation is proving difficult for students, and the cost of rent is leaving no money for food, travel or books.

'The issue of housing permeates across all groups of our society. In recent years, the shortage in student accommodation has forced students, families and professionals to race for accommodation, and compete for somewhere to live,' said USI President Michael Kerrigan.

'In many instances, this competition has pushed students to take accommodation that exists outside of their price range, or to drop out of college.'

'More than 25,000 students have already accepted their college places yesterday from the CAO.'

'There is still a shortage of accommodation, and students are being crammed into small spaces, with harsh living conditions and horror stories of the state of living.'

Wednesday Montague, an IADT student, travels up to eight hours a day to attend college due to the lack of housing. 

'I'm from Offaly and I travel 4 hours to college and 4 hours back every day, all because of unaffordable accommodation.'

'The excessive travel and stress from missing college because of travel had put me in the hospital. The shortage exists, but cost is a factor too.'

A number of students said that they sleep in friends' houses on couches or floors.

Others said they sleep in their cars, and two students said they sleep on the streets. 

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