Local landlords voice concerns

Madeline Diamond, News Editor

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Members of the administration met with Lewisburg homeowners who rent homes to University students on Sept. 18 to discuss the future of student housing downtown. Wayne Bromfield, Senior Legal Advisor to the University President; Jim Hostetler, director of Construction and Design; and Dan Remley, associate Dean of Students, hosted the event to share information with the landlords as well as hear their concerns.

“We will discuss … our desire for mutual and responsible communications with you [homeowners] as we work through this transition,” a letter to local landlords said.

One of the goals of the meeting was to inform landlords of the University’s housing plan and how this will affect homeowners. New uphill construction will house 340 students for the 2015-2016 school year. Several landlords expressed concerns about the future of downtown student living, and how this will affect their properties since fewer students will be able to rent homes in Lewisburg in the future.

Bromfield recalled the University’s 1998 housing plan, which expected all students to move back to campus by 2013. This deadline was pushed back until 2015 after University President John Bravman arrived at the University in 2010 and Dean of Students Susan Lantz in 2011. The University will allow approximately 200 students to live off campus for the 2015 school year, a sharp decrease from the current approximate 500 students living downtown.

“We understand that this is going to be a dramatic change,” Bromfield said.

Landlords were also informed of several new safety policies that will affect downtown living, including a requirement to have smoke detectors connected throughout the residency along with carbon monoxide detectors. The University will also monitor the local ordinance that limits downtown residences to three, and in some cases four, occupants.

Remley pointed out that students who have already signed leases are not guaranteed off campus housing. This year, students will apply to live off campus from October 1-8 by using an interactive website to select University approved-homes that will feature photos and information about the homes.

 

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