UVa Buys Apartments for Students

The good news is that UVa has bought several private apartment buildings to use as student housing. The bad news is that UVa has bought several private apartment buildings to use as student housing. They’ve had a housing shortage that has been problematic, which led to a promise to provide more housing year ago. In an effort to alleviate this, they’ve bought a five-building apartment complex from Wade Apartments, just off JPA, as well as the University Forum complex, for a total of $11.05M. Between the two of them, the apartments can house 265 students.

In providing housing for students, it may help to limit the increase in rent prices created by students crowding into privately-owned houses. On the other hand, UVa just took eleven million dollars worth of property off of Charlottesville’s tax rolls which is, what, $120,000 in property taxes each year?

Damned if they’re do, and damned if they don’t. David Hendrick has the skinny in today’s Progress.

One thought on “UVa Buys Apartments for Students”

  1. I have a lot of feelings about UVA and the housing situation in Charlottesville, having been both a student and a member of the Charlottesville community. In many ways the University supports the community, for example by remaining a large employer of its citizens. It also, for example, brings in large numbers of visitors that support local restaurants, hotels, gas stations, and places of interest such as Monticello. In addition, while UVA may have cost the city some money in taxes by purchasing some property, they drive the taxes up for many other properties because of the demand its students place on the housing market. I would venture to say the city makes more money than it loses with respect to UVA and property taxes.

    On a less positive note, I see residents in neighborhoods bordering UVA that are being pushed out to make way for student housing or the student housing market. Not only does UVA physically buy properties, but it brings an available clientele that is willing to pay top dollar for apartments. This forces rent up, which forces some tenants out. As property values increase, taxes increase also, leaving some residents who own property unable to pay property taxes.

    Just when I want to tell the University to control its growth and respect the community, however, I realize that such actions would likely result in hindered growth and support for the community beyond UVA. I can’t help but cringe, though, when I see more and more students moving onto streets like Cherry Ave. I am, by far, not an expert on the housing situation in Charlottesville. Is there anyone with more knowledge or experience who cares to enlighten me?

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