I asked a question during question time at the Sept 12, 2019 Faculty Senate meeting about the proposed reconstruction of Lincoln and North Apartments
The University recently announced proposed replacement of the Lincoln and North Apartments with new housing stock to be constructed via a public/private partnership. Some are expressing concerns about how these new housing units will be managed. In particular, (1) Who will make decisions about the management of this housing? UMass or a private partner? (2) Will these units continue to be available principally only to UMass students? Or will they be available to other members of the community, potentially displacing students into the local rental market? (3) Will there continue to be the same balance of one- and two-bedroom apartments? Or, as some reports suggested, a shift toward two-bedroom only? Finally, (4) what concrete steps are the University taking to assure that students, especially those with the greatest financial need, will continue to be able to secure suitable housing, both during the construction process and beyond?
The questions were answered by John Kennedy and Swamy, with the clarification that Andy Mangels (absent) would probably be the best to answer these questions. Below is my effort to capture the sense of their reponses, although eventually the minutes will be posted and a transcript will be available.
Many of the details will be worked out during the bid process: the campus will be considering bids that may have more or less management included as part of the overall bid.
The units will be for a mix of graduate and undergraduate units at Lincoln and the North apartments will be for graduate student families. It's not anticipated that the housing would be made available more widely.
The graduate student senate is involved in the planning for the redesign of these units in order to strike an appropriate balance between 1 and 2 bedroom apartments to meet current needs.
The university is in conversation with landlords in North Amherst to find appropriate placements for families displaced from the North Apartments, at the same rent, such that children will not have to change schools.