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The Housing Crisis at FLC

The Housing Crisis at FLC

By: Jake Fry & Dianna Montoya Indy Staff Writers

Wednesday, April 5, 2023 | Number of views (4120)

 

In the Fall 2019 semester, Fort Lewis College reported an increase of campus housing that would have required the housing of 103% students, Lauren Pope, Media Relations Strategist, said. 

FLC housing capacity is set at 1550, she said. 

Obtaining housing as a student has been a conversation around campus. Here is the data of what the institution has collected in relation to that conversation. 

Statistics and Surveys

“FLC saw an increase of first-year students from 760 in the Fall 2019 semester, to 960 at the end of the 2021 academic year”, Pope said. 

The 2021 academic year was the biggest, in regards to the first year students, it’s been in a decade, she said.

“With eight housing complexes and two apartment buildings FLC resorted to local apartment complexes and other temporary living situations to house students”, she said. 

“Students who wanted on campus housing but had no more space had a subsidized room option at the hotel off campus or affordable off campus housing during the pandemic,” Pope said. 

With the help of Associate Professor of Political Science, Paul DeBell and ASFLC, Project Moxie, a housing consultant in Durango, was able to obtain survey results from 135 student respondents from May 2 through May 13. 

According to the survey more than 1 in 4 Fort Lewis College students are experiencing housing insecurity while attending FLC. 

1 in 5 people reported currently living out of their vehicle, according to the survey. 

“The survey was conducted to gain a better understanding about the housing crisis facing students, in particular the effects of rising rent prices in Durango”, DeBell said. 

“DeBell was put into contact with the Director of Community Strategy at Project Moxie for his help in spreading the word about the survey on campus”, he said. 

“Flyers about the survey were posted around campus so students could then complete the survey and take further action steps like being interviewed by Project Moxie”, he said. 

Affordability and availability were the most common reasons cited for housing insecurity, the survey said. 

Of those dealing with housing security, nearly half reported not receiving assistance, the survey said. 

“It almost seems like you need a full time job to just keep up with rent,” said one student in the survey. 

 “Housing around Durango either is too expensive or many properties do not allow students. This really leaves very few options for students. It really is a frustrating issue.” said another student in the survey. 

When students were asked what could be helpful, the most common response was rental assistance, financial aid or increased variability of affordable housing, according to the survey. 

What Now?

“ASFLC President and Vice President are going to tour San Juan College who recently underwent the building of new housing units in only one year versus Fort Lewis’s three year plan, with hopes to mobilize the creation of more housing as soon as possible,” Pope said. 

Jeff Dupont, Dean of Student Engagement, said FLC has partnered up with a local hotel and apartment complex to secure housing for students. 

“The Grubhub is another source in which 10 Skyhawks have found secure housing,” he said. 

“Fort Lewis will make two new housing structures on campus by 2025,” Pope said.

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