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UL accommodation - A plea to Castletroy, Rhebogue and Limerick city residents circulated online asking locals to consider renting spare rooms to UL students. UL accommodation - A plea to Castletroy, Rhebogue and Limerick city residents circulated online asking locals to consider renting spare rooms to UL students.

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UL urges Limerick locals to offer spare rooms to homeless students

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UL accommodation – A plea to Castletroy, Rhebogue and Limerick city residents circulated online asking locals to consider renting spare rooms to UL students.

UL urges Limerick locals to offer spare rooms to homeless students

By I Love Limerick correspondent Rachel Petticrew

ul accommodation crisis Students continue to commute or live in hotels, scrambling for beds as UL approaches the mid-semester break.

Students continue to commute or live in hotels, scrambling for beds as UL approaches the mid-semester break.

Despite providing the highest percentage of on-campus accommodation per student in Ireland, the University of Limerick has found itself in the grasp of Ireland’s ever-worsening student accommodation crisis. 

A plea to Castletroy, Rhebogue and Limerick city residents circulated online asked locals to consider renting spare rooms to UL students, through the university’s off-campus accommodation service. 

Compared to the never-ending accommodation crises of Dublin and Galway, Limerick has, for many years, proved the most accessible and affordable option in terms of student boarding.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this is no longer the case. Hordes of private landlords have left the student rental market, and digs are few and far between. 

Anticipating the problem, in advance of the current semester UL employed several tactics in an attempt to increase available accommodation. 

“A local print and radio campaign was run ahead of the return to campus, in an effort to encourage local property owners to consider offering their accommodation to students,” UL Communications Officer Alan Owens tells I Love Limerick, “as well as a leaflet drop of over 6,000 flyers into households in the residential areas close to UL.”

University employees have taken the matter into their own hands, encouraging family, friends and neighbours to consider offering up spare rooms. 

Plassey Campus Centre, which oversees all on-campus residences, offer just 2,850 beds to a student population of 17,000. 

Many locals feel the current disaster has been in the works for years due to a steady increase in student numbers, with little thought for where they might live.

“It’s not a UL problem, more to do with lack of housing in general,” believes one Twitter user. “Traditional off-campus student accommodation (Briarfield, Milford, etc.) is being rented by workers, not students. It’s more stable for landlords.” 

Regardless of the cause, students continue to scramble for beds as UL approaches the mid-semester break. 

Taking to Facebook, one such student commented, “I have been looking (for accommodation) since July, and I’m still living in a hotel. It’s painful.”

Communications Officer Owens assures students that UL “continues to work together with the government, our partners in Limerick and the wider sector nationally to develop more long-term plans for student accommodation in Limerick.”

To offer a room to UL students or access the UL off-campus accommodation service, go HERE 

For more UL stories, go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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