The Union of Students of Ireland says it can be a 'win-win' for both students and homeowners

Students are facing a major accommodation crisis, with a shortfall of thousands of beds for the upcoming college term.

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is encouraging more homeowners to offer "student digs" as a solution to the problem.

It's launched a campaign to try to pair students with families who have a spare room.

Homeowners can earn up to €14,000 tax free per year by renting out a room to students, on either a five-day or seven-day a week basis.

Damien McClean from the USI says students are finding it harder than ever to get accommodation, and suggests renting out a room can be a 'win-win' for both students and homeowners.

He observed: "Students are very worried that they won't be able to find somewhere to live whilst they get into their degree.

"You would think that once you hear your Leaving Cert results or CAO offers, that it would be exciting - but that can actually be quite anxiety-ridden for students, because now they have to go look for accommodation in what is already a crisis."

Households in areas such as Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford are set to receive information about how to 'register their spare room' in the coming days.