“Behind Closed Doors: uncovering gender bias in the student housing sector” 

By Cillian Foley, Leanne Donegan and Daniel Ryan 

The accommodation crisis affects more and more students nationally each year, with widespread issues of poor housing standards, student homelessness and overcrowding, Limerick Voice reporters Cillian Foley, Leanne Donegan and Daniel Ryan set out to find out more about this ever-expanding issue. 

Nearly half of all students in Limerick are reliant on the private rental market, Limerick Voice Investigates can reveal.  

Reports from UL Student Life estimate that at least 100 University of Limerick (UL) students grappled with homelessness during the 2022-23 academicsi year alone. 

Gender bias emerged as a notable issue in the rental search for those attending university.  

A recent survey conducted by Limerick Voice on’s student accommodation availability nationwide highlighted stark gender discrepancies. 

The property website stated only seven percent of properties were exclusively available for male tenants, while 25 percent specified female-only occupants. Meanwhile, 68 percent of properties were open to shared occupancy by both genders. 

Landlords were found to advertise gender-specific accommodation preferences using “Male and Female”, “Males Preferred” or “Females Preferred” notices. These practices, prohibited under the Equal Status Acts, maintain disparities in access to housing. 

Micheal Hunt is a male student attending UL who voiced his frustration at the inequalities in housing preferences, deeming them “crazy.”  

“Accomodation in general, no matter gender, is an insult when taking into account UL annual revenue. Although, it is annoying when you’re seeing so many lads commuting because landlords are more inclined to fill a house with women,“ he said.  

Male students report feeling marginalised by landlords who perpetuate stereotypes of them as messy, noisy, and troublesome tenants. 

Emphasising the prevalence of female-dominated households, UL student Alisia Kazimierek says the pursuit of gender-specific housing exacerbates an already dire saion: 

“I think we have an accommodation problem in general. So I can’t imagine trying to get “one gender only” accommodation can be easy.” 

Others were left unconcerned by the gender imbalance.  

Local Limerick woman Nicole Curry said: ”I find it more comfortable to live in female-only housing, so I do understand why some landlords choose this option for their properties. 

“When it comes down to it, I will always choose female-only housing. I just feel safer in such a setting.” 

Compounding this crisis, housing costs continue to soar, with on-campus accommodation fees across the country increasing by 2 percent, the maximum allowed under rent pressure zones regulations. 

The housing dilemma facing students poses a significant obstacle to accessing higher education and maintaining a successful academic environment. 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Latest

To Top

Powered by