Limerick based students are struggling to find accommodation in the city and its suburbs, with some forced to stay in hotels and hostels.
One international student who began attending the University of Limerick on September 6th has spoken of staying in a hotel since their arrival. They are currently paying €370 a week for a hotel room while they struggle to find accommodation. Without a stable address they have been unable to open an Irish bank account or apply for a Student travel/discount card.
The student said they have "appealed to the President of the University to assist us in securing permanent accommodation, but this has not produced any successful outcome to house us permanently. They have failed to pay or subsidise our hotel stay or provide us with food vouchers to alleviate the financial pressures we are facing."
UL operates a lottery system for accommodation for first year students in its 2,800 rooms across seven on-campus residential villages.
Suggestions have been made that Limerick landlords are refusing to rent to students due to anti-social behaviour. Last week, residents of College Court in Castletroy complained of student parties, which resulted in littering and a concrete bollard being thrown through the window of a property.
The Minister for Housing, Darragh O'Brien, cautioned against demonising students in such a manner while on a visit to the city.
"I don’t believe there should be a distinction between a tenant and a student who is a tenant," he said. "Where real anti-social behaviour happens, I wouldn't categorise that to students, I think that's a very unfair thing to do. Across society, there will always be a couple of people who cause difficulties, whether they are students, whether they are whatever their background."