The warnings were highlighted in a briefing prepared by the Department of Education.
Minister for Higher Eduction, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has been warned about the “unprecedented demand” for affordable student accommodation.
As students and parents across the country scramble to find accommodation for the upcoming academic year, Mitchell O’Connor has been told of the "significant challenges" relating to the issue.
Officials within the Department of Education prepared a briefing for the new minister highlighting the warning in a section titled ‘key priority issues’.
They say there has been a huge increase in demand for third level places over the past decade. This is expected to continue to grow over the next decade/
The trend is said to have had a positive impact on the Irish economy due to the supply of skilled graduates for the labour market.
Within the briefing the officials wrote, ”However, this increase in student numbers, including international students, is creating an unprecedented demand for suitable, affordable, student accommodation”.
Ms Mitchell O'Connor was told this is complicated by the "very short time-frame" between the release of the Leaving Cert results, the CAO's allocating of college places in college courses, and the start of the academic year.
Other significant challenges in fixing the issue include the cost of borrowing, access to finance and site availability.
Ireland is currently 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.
Education Minister Richard Bruton acknowledged the "challenging gap" between supply and demand as he launched the first National Student Accommodation Strategy to support delivery of at least 21,000 extra purpose-built beds by 2024. The report put demands for student beds at 57,075 this year, but just 33,441 spaces are available in dedicated student complexes.