‘I don’t feel safe walking home at night’ – the reality of ‘luxury’ student accommodation

With the shortage in student accommodation reaching boiling point, many students have had to settle for pricy rooms and apartments from businesses such as ‘Aparto Student’ rather than sleeping on couches and staying in hotels or hostels. 

‘Aparto Students’ has five different locations around Dublin, all very close to the city centre, with weekly prices ranging from €250 to €360 a week.  

“I’ve had to go into this luxury accommodation in the Liberties area that I can barely afford because I know there’s nothing else out there,” Brian Guiney told the Liberty. 

“My friends offered to put me up on their couch for a few nights a week, but that isn’t going to last. You can’t live a college year like that.” 

Photo Credit: Mendicity Institution.

When the country went into lockdown and colleges closed back in February 2020, landlords wanted their houses filled and there were no students to fill them. This subsequently led to an increase of couples and families taking these lettings instead – and they are likely to be there them long-term as they will struggle to find an alternative. 

The ‘Aparto Student’ accommodation can cost as much as €11,480 a year, from September to June, nearly the price of college registration fees for four years. 

A number of these luxury student accommodations are based in poor and neglected locations around the city.

“I don’t feel safe walking home at night,” Ciara Murphy told the Liberty. She lives near Mendicity Institute, which provides vital services for homeless people on the quays.

“It just makes me feel a bit nervous in the dark mornings and evenings as I have been approached a few times. Now I just get taxis everywhere, which is additional cost,” she said.