UA housing withdrawing Bluff leases


William Evans

Housing and Residential Communities plans to withdraw half of its leases from The Bluff at Waterworks Landing in the 2011-2012 academic year, said Alicia Browne, associate director for information and communication for HRC, in an e-mailed statement.

As it stands, HRC leases rooms from The Bluff, an off-campus student living community, so that students can apply for housing there as they would for other residence halls on campus.

HRC began leasing spaces from The Bluff in the 2008-2009 academic year with the intention of relinquishing that space in the future.

“The agreement the University entered into with The Bluff several years ago included a process by which we would return spaces to The Bluff,” Browne said. “We are entering the first year of that process. Although The Bluff has certainly been a popular option, there has not been sufficient demand to fill all spaces.”

The University plans to return the remaining half of its leases to The Bluff by the 2012-2013 academic year, she said.

Before this year’s room selection process when students apply for housing for the upcoming academic year, HRC informed Bluff residents who would have their leases withdrawn to look for space elsewhere, Browne said.

“We made determinations about which spaces to return based on student demand, so as to disrupt the fewest number of residents possible,” she said. “Students who had recontracted and paid their deposit were also notified that they would receive a full refund of their housing deposit if they preferred to lease their specific space directly from The Bluff.”

Students will no longer be able to pay for their Bluff housing through their University account for the rooms no longer leased by the University, according to an e-mail sent to the residents of The Bluff by property manager Michael Miller.

“We can offer a lower rent price and the option for you to stay in the same apartment you’re living in right now,” he wrote. “However, those who have scholarships that cover housing and are billed directly to your student account don’t apply.”

Miller said in a phone interview that students can still rent the rooms they are currently staying in for next year but must do so through The Bluff and not the University if the space has been withdrawn.

He said the monthly rent turns out to be less expensive overall than the rates students pay for the University’s 11.5 month contract for Bluff housing, which is projected to be $11,225 for a three-bedroom unit and $12,100 for a two-bedroom unit, according to HRC’s projected residence hall rates for the 2011-2012 academic year.