Time to bring student 'digs' back in vogue
For many, the idea of rooming with a family in student "digs" will conjure up visions of penny-pinching landlord Rigsby and his unrequited pursuit of Ms Jones in the classic comedy Rising Damp, or of frayed carpets and overbearing landladies and landlords.
There's no reason that should be the case. If householders and students respect each others' boundaries, they have a huge amount to offer one another.
The same factors driving homelessness and a shortage of family homes mean that in Dublin in particular the shortage of student accommodation is particularly acute this year.
At the same time, a generation of homeowners is struggling with big mortgages taken out during the boom - some of whom at least have spare rooms that could be used to help service those loans. Uniquely, up to €10,000 a year can be earned tax free from renting out a room. For first-year students in particular, "digs" can provide affordable housing and help ease the transition to living away from home. It's an idea whose time has come back.