Housing crisis: students use snapchat to show discrepancies in housing market

Using Snapchat to share videos and warn others of the poor quality accommodation on offer to students. UCD Students Union recorded undercover clips showing some of the dodgy accommodation dealings students have to put up with in an bid to put a roof over their heads for the new college year.

As part of their campaign to tackle the current housing crisis, UCD Students Union and students alike utilised social media by posting both videos and images of substandard accommodation and the questionable behaviour they’ve encountered from landlords within the private rental market - Such as a house which sleeps 15 people and has a single bathroom. It also shows kitchen plates and utensils stacked on the cistern of a toilet and a kitchen table which is nothing more than a one foot piece of plywood.

The hope for these students and UCD Students Union is that the stories they captured and the evidence of the state of some of the accommodation available to students will reach Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing and TD for Dublin Bay South.

Barry Murphy, a UCD Students' Union Officer who featured in videos, said: “I'm going undercover to these viewings because I think pictures speak louder than words sometimes.

“We see news articles about the student housing crisis but it's a different thing to be watching it on video - seeing landlords trying to scam you out of a deposit and the first month's rent without word of a contract. This isn't just an attempt to stir the pot.”

He continued, “We've put €14K together with Trinity SU and we're trying to get better quality rooms on the market. We want some of these clips to reach Minister Murphy so he sees how bad the housing situation is and so his department responds to invitations from UCD Students' Union and Trinity Students' Union to meet on student housing.”

At the moment Ireland is short of 23,000 purpose-built student bed spaces to meet the demand from college-goers, according to a new report that outlines plans to tackle the deficit up to 2024. While demand for student beds is put at 57,075 this year, only 33,441 spaces are available in dedicated student complexes, whether on campus or developed by private providers.

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