Housing officials will present a proposal to increase rent by 3 percent for eight out of 10 Portland State student housing buildings in the next fiscal year. The proposal will be presented during open hearings for students on Thursday and Friday. The Auxiliary Services rent rate increase for the proposal 2007-08 year is significantly less than the proposal for this year.
Housing officials will present a proposal to increase rent by 3 percent for eight out of 10 Portland State student housing buildings in the next fiscal year. The proposal will be presented during open hearings for students on Thursday and Friday.
The Auxiliary Services rent rate increase for the proposal 2007-08 year is significantly less than the proposal for this year. Officials proposed a 9 percent increase for the 2006-07 year, compared to the 3 percent rate increase for next year.
The proposal asks for no increase or decrease in rent in Montgomery Court or in any of the 13 two-bedroom apartments in Portland State-owned housing buildings. The Ondine Residence Hall would see a 5 percent increase in rent, instead of the 3 percent increase that could take place in all the other Portland State-owned housing buildings, according to John Eckman, chief housing officer in Auxiliary Services.
Students can give feedback to the proposed rent increases at open hearings on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Montgomery Court first floor lounge. Housing officials hold the hearings each year to take feedback from students on any changes in rent or housing-related budgets and will finalize the proposed changes after the hearings.
The proposal also changes the way students will be charged to have a roommate live in their apartment, according to Sarah Durant, president of the Resident Hall Association.
Currently, if an apartment costs $600, $50 is added to the monthly bill for an extra roommate and the total ($650) is split between the roommates. The proposal asks for the roommates to pay one and a half times the total rent, instead of the $650-a total that would be $900 if the rent costs $600.
“When two people live in a double room, each will pay the double room rate,” said Mary Cloos, housing services manager, “and when one person lives in a room as a single, she or he will pay the single room rate.”
Durant said that Auxiliary Services housing officials lowered the proposed rent increases-initially set at 5.7 percent-because of the increased cost of adding an extra roommate. Other universities, Durant said, add more to the initial cost of rent when adding a roommate.
Students could also see a change from their rent being billed monthly to seeing a bill once each term, according to Cloos. Students would also sign either a term long or a 12-month contract, with the option to cancel any 12-month contract at the end of each term if they decided to stop school.
“It’s going to be more traditional compared to what it used to be,” Durant said. “If you’re a student who is serious about going to school, it’s going to be better.”
Durant said that she thinks the 3 percent increase is positive and needed, after Auxiliary Services was initially planning on a 5.7 percent increase. Eckman said that the 3 percent increase is lower than the rate of inflation, meaning that Auxiliary Services will be taking a small hit by giving a low rate increase.
“They understand that it’s expensive to live on campus,” Durant said.
Rate increases will not occur until Sept. 15, 2007 for the 2007-08 fiscal year, according to Eckman. Typically, rate increases occur at the turn of each fiscal year on July 1.
The First Year Experience program, a program aimed at providing PSU freshmen with events, activities and groups to help them adapt to college life, will see a 1 percent decrease in the yearly cost of living in the Broadway Housing Building and a 7 percent decrease in the Ondine.
The Global Village program, similar to First Year Experience but geared toward students living in Stephen Epler Hall who are interested in sustainability, would see a 6 percent increase in rent if the proposed rates go through as they stand. Eckman said that Epler Hall apartments enrolled in Global Village currently costs less than apartments not enrolled in Global Village.
Rent increased by 9 percent across the board for the 2006-07 year. Students met the proposed rent increases last winter with questions, comments and some anger at the same open hearings on housing last year.
The proposal for the 2006-07 year also proposed that the Residence Life program be cut by over one-third of its budget, or nearly $300,000. After much student outcry, the program was saved and the budget was only minimally reduced after some staff shifts.
This year’s proposal keeps the Residence Life program relatively unchanged, with a proposed increase of up to $55,000 to meet inflation and increased housing rates, according to Residence Life Director Corey Ray.