Classes start Monday, but some USU students still homeless

LOGAN – With fall semester starting next week, some Utah State University students have already moved into their apartments and dorm rooms, and many more are on the way. Thanks to sacrifices made by members of the Cache Valley community, the USU administration and fellow USU students, many students will have a place to live.

It didn’t look that way earlier this month, and some students still don’t have a place to live. The Factory – an apartment complex currently being built by the Nelson Brothers company – had signed fall semester leases for nearly 300 students, but left the students looking for their own places to live when it was announced earlier this month the complex would not be completed in time.

USU Senior Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life Steve Jenson said efforts by the community and the University have already helped many find a place to stay. Study rooms on campus were converted into bedrooms, students who signed up for private rooms agreed to fit an extra bed into their dorms and other apartments scheduled to be closed for repairs were opened early.

Jenson said the majority of the students he has contacted on USU’s waiting list have found a place to live, but not all.

“I think it’s not as bad as we early anticipated it might be,” he said. “But there are still some students out looking.”

Christina Hallam, who manages Nottingham Apartments near campus, said she has had to change the recording on her office phone due to the dozens of phone calls she receives daily from students looking for housing. She said she feels sorry for the situation the students are in and would like to help more, but her apartments are filled to capacity.

“They’ve just been wondering if we have anything available,” she said. “I just pass it on because we’ve been full. One day I had 31 phone calls, and most of them were from The Factory.”

Hallam said that she – like most apartment managers in Logan–  want to help out as much as possible, but dealing with the Logan City code gets tricky. Hallam manages student housing on both sides of 600 East. She said the east side of the street is zoned for high density occupancy, but on the west side only three unrelated people can live together, making accommodating big groups of students difficult.

“Of course we don’t want to violate that,” she said. “There are some people that have more room, but due to the code or the zoning issues, they don’t dare take them in because they don’t want to be fined.”

Hallam said she has noticed many students looking for housing have had success finding apartments away from town in the surrounding communities, but understands it isn’t ideal.

“Students like to live as close to campus as possible to omit paying for parking, which is also hard to obtain through USU,” she said.

Jenson said students still looking for a place to live can check back with the housing office daily for availability.

“We are checking everyday for students that maybe haven’t paid for their housing or tuition to see if they are for sure coming,” he said.

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