BOCA RATON, Fla. – Florida Atlantic University will be housing some students off campus at nearby hotels, as the school deals with lack of affordable housing.
A Renaissance Hotel, about two miles from the campus will house about 800 students for the upcoming Fall semester.
A university spokesman says the school saw an increase of about 27 percent in applications for on-campus housing this incoming year, over last year, partly due to rising rents off campus.
Graduate student Asher Iqbal is calling it a student housing crisis.
“Its difficult to find anything below $1,200. The way the inflation is going up, salaries are not going up accordingly so students do not have much options available because they don’t have much money to pay for them and the options that are available are way too expensive,” said Iqbal.
RentCafe, a website that tracks rental trends, says that average monthly lease prices in Boca Raton are about $2,800.
“You can imagine how difficult it is whether to live or to eat,” said Iqbal.
In an email to students, FAU’s housing department says they are currently at full capacity for the upcoming Fall semester and are offering a limited number of double occupancy rooms a the Fairfield Inn and the Renaissance Hotel for the Fall semester.
Last year, Boca Raton’s city council rejected a proposal for a 546 bed four-story apartment complex across the street from the campus.
City council member Andy Thompson says the proposal was rejected partly because of concerns about safety and traffic.
“I think that was kind of a lost opportunity for us. It would’ve been nice at a time like this to have those additional 500 to 550 beds to accommodate the incoming freshmen going to FAU. It wasn’t a perfect solution but we had it, it was in our hands dropped in our lap, to try and address this. It’s a shame,” said Thompson.
As Iqbal figures out how to afford rent off campus, Thomson says the city will have a discussion about what off-campus housing will look like in Boca Raton.
The housing department does say they expect on-campus housing to become available for the Spring semester. But for now, hotels are the best option for many students.