UCC staff asked to rent rooms to students

By Roisin Burke

UCC staff members are being asked to consider offering up spare rooms for rent as over 40 UCC students remain without accommodation into the second week of the academic year.

The college’s accommodation centre confirmed that 20 first years and over 20 postgraduate students are staying in short-term accommodation such as B&B’S and hostels or sleeping on couches while also looking for a more permanent place to live.

All of the students engaging with the UCC accommodation centre are coming from distances deemed too far to commute and most of the postgraduate students are international.

Student Residential Services & Community Relations Officer Gary Mulcahy told the Evening Echo that he sent out an email to all staff, encouraging them to think about housing a student either in the short term or the long term.

Mr Mulcahy said they also encouraged staff members to think about asking family and friends to house a student.

The Student residential services officer said they got a good response to the request. “We got a good response, not fantastic,” Mr Mulcahy said.

“Some people really want to help and don’t want that much money, others are looking at it as a long-term rental scheme, looking to offer a place to a student for the full academic year.”

UCC Student Union President Alan Hayes said it was heartbreaking to see these students who were ultimately homeless, having nowhere to stay.

“It is so hard to settle into college already, this is an added pressure.” Mr Hayes said.

Speaking about the ongoing issues with accommodation in Cork, Mr Hayes once again raised the problem of rising rents saying that the market is blowing up and needs to be regulated by the Government.

Mr Hayes said that there are a number of students who have deferred their college place until next year because they cannot find an affordable place to live this year.

“The private companies are out to make as much money as possible. It just is not fair. They are charging extortionate prices and making college less accessible.”

This story first appeared in the Evening Echo.

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