BOCA RATON, Fla. — The lack of affordable housing is hitting college students as they ready to return to school next month.
Florida Atlantic University said some students will be housed at hotels away from campus.
A university spokesperson told WPTV they saw an increase of about 27% applications for on-campus housing this year over last, partly due to rising rents off campus.
“The way inflation is going up, salaries are not going up accordingly," said graduate student Asher Iqbal. "So, students do not have many options available, because they don’t have much money to pay for them and the options that are available, are way too expensive.”
According to RentCafe, the average monthly lease in Palm Beach County calls for $2,000 a month.
“You can imagine how difficult it is whether to live or to eat,” said Iqbal.
In an email to students, FAU’s housing department said they are currently at full capacity for the upcoming fall semester and are offering a limited number of double occupancy rooms at the Fairfield Inn Boca Raton and the Renaissance Hotel Boca Raton for the fall semester.
Just last year, Boca Raton’s city council rejected a proposal for a 546 bed, four-story apartment complex across the street from FAU’s campus.
“I think that was kind of a lost opportunity for us,” said Boca Raton city council member Andy Thomson.
Thomson said the proposal was rejected partly because of concerns about safety and traffic.
“It would’ve been nice at a time like this to have those additional 500/550 beds to accommodate the incoming freshman going to FAU,” Thomson said. “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.”
The housing department said they expect on-campus housing to become available for the spring semester.