High rents send Greek Cypriot students north

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Greek Cypriot students studying in Nicosia are resorting to renting apartments in the Turkish-occupied north, as they can’t afford accommodation in the capital, claimed an MP.

At the House Education Committee, centrist DIPA MP Alekos Tryfonides said he had met Greek Cypriot students choosing to live in the north as they can’t afford to rent in the Republic.

He told his fellow MPs that he met five students living in the north, who informed him they were not the only ones, as some 50 Greek Cypriot students were also renting in the same area.

Tryfonides told the committee that students are paying around €170 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in north Nicosia, while two-bedroom flats cost €220.

In south Nicosia, a single-bedroom apartment could cost students €500-600, while two-bedroom apartments start from 700.

Tryfonides said that students rent apartments near the Ayios Dhometios crossing, with easy access to universities.

He said that students renting in the north are from out of town, mainly from poorer rural areas.

The Education Committee also heard of students striving to find affordable accommodation in Limassol, focusing on extremely high costs for renting there.

MPs were told by the manager of administration of the Technological University (TEPAK) Costas Hoppas that students from outside Limassol are finding it hard to find an apartment they can afford.

Many have turned down places at TEPAK as it is impossible to cover rent and transportation costs.

The university has agreed with four hotels in Limassol to offer affordable student accommodation for those who cannot be accommodated in university dorms.

Those who stay in one of the hotels pay €400 in rent every month, while the university covers another €300.

Some 160 rooms are available, including water and electricity bills, but not food.

Around 130 students are interested in staying at one of the four hotels.