SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Syracuse University Students are struggling with finding off-campus housing now more than ever before. The university over-admitted freshman last fall, kicking sophomores off-campus, now all of those students are looking for housing for next year.
As soon as students move in, instead of settling in and adjusting to their new courses, students are running up and down the blocks of the neighborhoods surrounding campus doing tours and signing leases. People only mention the idea of housing once they’ve found their own, gatekeeping the process for other students.
There are big signs saying “for rent” and “for lease” plastered over these houses, which could be deceiving because majority, if not all of these houses are already signed, and it’s only October.
Syracuse University junior Sydney Taraschi says “it is a crisis because it is so hard to find housing. It gets taken up super fast and the only stuff that is left is the really overpriced apartments which are harder to afford. Taraschi feels that since students are desperate for housing, landlords and housing companies can charge what they want and continue to raise their prices because they know the students will pay.
As the rent continues to get higher, and the housing conditions become even worse. SU junior Emily Hartman says “I do have friends who pay a similar rent [as her], however their house is nothing compared to mine and they have to experience things like mice, broken and outdated appliances, and have to pay separately for amenities such as laundry”. These conditions raise both sanitary and safety concerns.
Security of these homes is key to both students and their parents, but not all houses provide immense security features. It is no secret that Syracuse is not the safest place to live. There are constant break ins and more recently, stolen packages. Hartman recalls an incident where she called the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and was told they were out of range.
Syracuse has actually bought an apartment complex near campus and raised the rent prices. Taraschi says “One other thing I have noticed about the student housing crisis is a lot of students who aren’t able to find housing quickly in the beginning of the year result in these apartments”.
Syracuse University has an Off-Campus Student Living team to “serve as a resource for students thinking about living off campus, the search process, signing a lease, navigating off-campus living experiences and more”. There are many tips on their website, but not all students are aware of such a vital resource. Hartman says “I definitely think Syracuse could be more proactive about sharing resources, and that the unspoken rule about coming to campus and signing a lease should be spoken about”.
If these students could go through the housing process again, what would they do? The answer is the same. They encourage students to start early. Taraschi even recommends looking for housing in the summer because they are already being advertised, and most of the houses will still be available. She says “it takes a lot of patience” and recommends getting a group together to start planning in advance. Hartman recommends making sure your group is on the same page about budget, location, size, and anything else you would want included with the house. She encourages touring multiple places because “pictures can only do a house so much justice, you’ll never know until you’re living in there”.