An original suggestion for this topic was for the companies to offer one or two continuous six-month leases to the apartments they already own. This seemed like an idea that would work pretty effortlessly. However, after talking to a consultant at one of the nearby housing companies, she told me otherwise. (Refer back to One Side Verses The Other for more details) I decided to find out what was listed in our area for what I was searching for-I wasn’t picky either. An online apartment list only provided me with one housing company that offered it. I was more shocked than not. I understand that it’s not common for many people to only need a six-month lease and that it’s slim to non that people passing through the area need a place to stay for six months, but Longwood University provides enough people to make a dent in the housing demand. Going back to the programs I listed in the beginning of this blog, upperclassmen who are in the Student Teaching Program, Nursing Program, students who decide to study abroad for a semester, or students who need to stay an extra semester to graduate would all benefit with a six-month lease. On US NEWS, they state that Liberal Studies/ Liberal Arts Majors consisted of 18% of the graduating class in 2012. In total, that comes out to being 774 students that could potentially need a lone semester here at school. That number doesn’t include all of the other students who may have decided to add another major and stay another semester to graduate or students who had the opportunity to study abroad either.

I’m not saying students haven’t been able to get by in the past, but I’m announcing the dissatisfaction with the amount of options the student body is given. Longwood University’s freshman class grows each year as the “largest class ever”, which can be positive for the university. However, what we aren’t paying attention to is the fact that if we continue this habit, students are going to run out of places to live. I bring this up because this year two residential halls are undergoing construction and the Residential Housing Company almost encourages students who are eligible to move off campus. They recently lowered the amount of credits a students need to move to off campus housing. The policy is that once a student moves off campus, they are not permitted to live back onto on campus housing again. With this being the case, the off campus housing companies now have to deal with the increased amount of students. Arizona state schools increased the amount of beds for the student demand because it rose so quickly. Since we’re much smaller than the school they mention, we wouldn’t nearly as many as they state. In a New Jersey article that discussed some similar issues, they stated that it could take approximately 3 years from the start of a project to the time tenants move in. At Longwood, there have been some quickly built apartment complexes and they appear to look nice, but after living in them myself for not even a whole year I can speak from experience that they were built cheaply.

Building a few more apartment complexes could be a place where students who specifically need six-month leases can live. A suggestion is to start a relatively manageable size in a space that can be expanded on later. Having more property can help out a large minority of the students who need a place to live in a relatively close proximity to campus.