FAMU announced the university will invest $14 million dollars to create more housing for its students.
The school is using federal funding to potentially purchase several properties around the campus such as duplexes, apartment buildings and 1.3 acres of land. These units will be classified as “off-campus housing” but are within walking distance to campus.
FAMU’s total undergraduate enrollment is over 7,400 students but the school only has 2,450 on-campus beds. If purchased, apartment complexes will provide an additional 118 beds.
Gloria Walker, the FAMU Vice President of Finance and Administration, said the entire investment will provide a total of 2,000 additional beds for students, according to WCTV.
Early July, the university reported there were 506 first-time-in-college students on the housing waitlist in an announcement regarding “Boldly Striking”, a plan to assist students with on-campus housing. The plan includes rental assistance and a free on-campus meal plan worth up to $4,000 for the school year.
“Our focus on student success includes increasing on-campus residency to support the needs of both returning and new students,” said Vice President for Student Affairs William E. Hudson, Jr., Ph.D.,in the announcement.
President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. added the university has heard their concerns and the plan is being implemented to “provide relief” to students and families.
Since the 2021-22 academic year has ended, many HBCUs such as Tennessee State, Howard and North Carolina A&T have come under fire for lack of housing for returning students. These schools have denied the claims of housing crises. But the majority of students have taken to Twitter to say otherwise.
FAMU has set an example for HBCUs with limited housing options. As the 2022-23 academic year approaches, many students are still searching for off-campus housing without minimum assistance from their universities.
Students have called for their HBCUs to use the donations – similar to the federal funding FAMU received – to offer more housing options.