Accommodation for students in Faro, wanted

The number of students at the University of Algarve has increased, but the offer of accommodation in Faro followed the opposite path […]

The number of students at the University of Algarve has increased, but the offer of accommodation in Faro followed the opposite path and there are many cases of students who, with classes already underway, have not yet found a room or apartment for the new school year.

Demand increased and, with it, prices rose. In addition to this factor, apartments that once hosted students are now rented, through Airbnb, or similar platforms, to tourists arriving in Faro more and more. There is also a shopping complex about to open doors, ten kilometers from the algarvian capital, which is in need of labor and which has also attracted new residents to the city.

In a search on the Olx, Custo Justo or Casa Sapo portals, the offers are scarce and the advertisements for property to rent keep coming. The average monthly rent of the offers exceeds 200 euros/room and not all landlords accept to receive students.

Cláudia Rodrigues, a 3rd year Marketing student, has been facing these problems and still hasn't been able to find a house, which means that she has to travel between Tavira and Faro, cities 37 kilometers apart, but without a good public transport network connecting them.

“There is little supply and the supply that exists has many restrictions on students. If they are people on vacation, the landlords accept it, if it's from the University, it's out of the question, because there are those who misbehave. I've already happened to contact owners of five or six houses, who said they were available, but they weren't for students», the student tells the Sul Informação.

Also the value requested for accommodation is higher than in previous years. «Everyone sees that houses are more expensive. There are exorbitant prices. There are people renting rooms for 250 euros more expenses, I have already found a T3 that cost 275 euros more expenses per room», he illustrates.

Cláudia Rodrigues has the opportunity to travel to the University by car every day, but those who come from further afield to study at the University of Algarve face a bigger problem.

Rodrigo Teixeira

Rodrigo Teixeira, president of Associação Académica, says he has knowledge «of students who had to spend days in hostels until they find a home. I also heard that there were international students who camped at Praia de Faro».

According to the student representative, “there are many cases of students who go to the Academic Association looking for a house. We receive some ads, but they “fly” within hours. The situation is very complicated, we have already spoken with the rector, we have to be in contact with the Chamber of Faro and, taking advantage of the time of elections, to sensitize all candidates to this issue».

For Rodrigo Teixeira, «if Faro does not have conditions to receive students, all the effort made for the growth of the University in number of students may be in vain, and we do not want that to happen».

As for the reluctance of landlords to rent rooms and houses to students, the president of the Academic Association says he thinks “that this phenomenon has not grown. There are landlords who intend to rent houses to families, due to greater stability, but there is another issue that should be highlighted, which is the rent only to girls, which we consider discriminatory. It happens a lot that landlords only accept girls, fearing that the boys will wreak havoc on the apartment».

Due to the lack of supply, there is a phenomenon that is tending to grow: illegal leasing. Rodrigo Teixeira says that “there are many landlords who do not want to pass a receipt, which many students use for deductions with the IRS. It is illegal, it harms the students, but, without alternatives, they are forced to accept».


University residences are full and only "entrepreneurs can unlock the situation"


Albacor Residence

The University of Algarve has 600 beds in nine university residences, one of which is in Portimão, with a capacity for 21 students. However, demand was also high here and homes are already full.

André Botelheiro, coordinator of the Communication and Protocol Office of the University of Algarve, says that «this year, the applications went very well, but this means that, very quickly, capacity ran out».

The person responsible for communication at the University of Algarve explains that the institution «has a legal and statutory obligation to guarantee accommodation for needy students and that is the priority. The most needy students, the so-called scholarship holders, have priority in placement in the residences».

Even so, according to André Botelheiro, «the University has been trying to create quotas for accommodation in residences for students who are not scholarship holders, both national and international. These quotas are established according to the size of these groups'.

Despite the fact that the residences are full, «there is no forecast, at this time, of the growth in the University's accommodation capacity. We already have a very large accommodation capacity. There are universities with many more students that do not have as high housing capacity as we do».

Rogerio Cod

According to André Botelheiro, «the University is unable to solve the problem of lack of accommodation» and «businessmen have a key role to play in unlocking this situation. There is a business opportunity here, which can be taken advantage of, with the construction of private residences», similar to what is already happening in Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra.

André Botelheiro says that this issue “justifies the city's intervention, as an interested party. The city and the Farenses must support us in solving this, placing the vacant houses they have on the market for students».

Rogério Bacalhau, president of the Chamber of Faro, says that, to his office, "no information reached any kind regarding the issue [lack of accommodation for students], but it is likely that there will be difficulty in finding houses".

The mayor explains that “the city is experiencing great dynamics in terms of the recovery of houses and there are many people coming to live here. We know that there is not much housing available to rent or sell. There are buildings that are being built, some that I know of, whose apartments, still in plant, are all sold».

The Chamber of Faro there is a 'bag of rooms and buildings available for young people, that's what we've been doing to help with accommodation. When people contact us, with rooms available, we try to forward. But, at the moment, there is no great availability».


Private residences are on the way, but when


Private student residences, considered by André Botelheiro as a solution to the lack of accommodation, may even be on the way to Faro.

Rogério Bacalhau advanced the Sul Informação that the Chamber received, “at the beginning of the year, the contact of two companies that are interested in building residences for students. They have been given information on the possible location and I know that there is one that is looking into the possibility of building around 300 student residences. However, no project entered the Chamber».

O Sul Informação contacted Studentville, a company specialized in this line of business, and, despite stressing that he does not have «effectively any residence under construction in Faro», admits that this «is certainly an area of ​​interest for us, where we may eventually have future projects».


Hostels launch campaign with monthly prices for students



There are still no private homes and, for now, they are the hostels from the Algarve capital seeking to make money from the lack of rental market for students in the city.

The Baixa Terrace Hostel offers dormitory accommodation, between October and May, from 359 euros a month, and Hostellicious, which will open its doors at the end of September, next to Largo do Carmo, will reserve 50 beds for students at the University of Algarve , for 250 euros/month, from the beginning of October.

Nuno Almeida Fernandes, one of the partners of this new hostel, which will be the biggest in the Algarve, explained to our newspaper that the investment in this market arises «to make it easier for university students to look for a place to stay, which is very difficult this year, with prices much higher than normal. Also, this hostel it has 150 beds and we are entering the low season. This is an intermediate solution for a business hostel which has so many beds».

For now, there will be 50 beds for students, but «depending on the success of the initiative, we can expand the offer», concludes Nuno Almeida Fernandes.

The demand exists.