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University of Montana hopes to add more student housing

Recently, the Missoula Organization of Realtors released a grim forecast of available housing for newcomers to the area, but another arriving population will have better luck; students from the University of Montana.

KGVO News reached out to UM’s director of strategic communications Dave Kuntz, who said there are a variety of housing options available for current and incoming students.

“At the university, we have halls of residence, we have our off-campus apartments, and we have other accommodations,” Kuntz began. “We are certainly seeing demand really increase as we prepare and put plans in place for next year. So as it stands, we are very comfortable with the offer we have for the next academic year. However, the university has already taken quite proactive steps to ensure that we can extend this offer in the years to come, knowing that the crisis is likely to last for some time and we want to be able to ensure that we are to serve our students as much as possible.

Kuntz provided specific details of the work that will be carried out this summer to prepare more student accommodation.

“The first step we are taking here at the University starting this summer will be undergoing a major renovation of Knowles Hall, one of our historic residences here on campus to modernize the building, as well as to add additional capacity as that we are extending the life of this building,” he said. “We are also in the early stages of identifying the likely construction of a new residence hall here in the coming years at UM. This will be necessary as we continue to see an increase in enrollment and demand for university accommodation in the future.”

He provided information on other accommodation being prepared for next fall and the influx of new students.

“We are repurposing some residence halls that have been taken offline in previous years back into the supply line before next fall, as well as some of our off-campus housing units,” he said. declared. “We are taking the summer to kick off some renovations that are necessary to be able to ensure that we are able to extend leases in the future.”

Kuntz also revealed the fact that the university has several residence halls near campus which are also available for student housing.

“We have quite a significant real estate asset here with our on-campus residence halls,” he said. “We have our off-campus apartments there along Higgins and South in University Villages, Toole Villages, and Lewis and Clark Villages, as well as married quarters, called the ‘X’s at the base of Mount Sentinel. In addition to that, we own about 36 houses adjacent to campus on streets like Fifth and Sixth Streets.

According to the MOR report, 2021 continued the trend of tight supply and falling vacancy rates. The result was a new historically low average annual vacancy rate of 1.3%. Studios and 4+ bedrooms in multiplexes had the lowest average vacancy rates at 1.1% and 0.0% respectively.

Overall, in 2021, rents increased by 5.57%, with one-bedroom multiplex apartments increasing by 4.9% and two-bedroom apartments increasing by 7.5%. The rental rate began to accelerate in the second half of 2021, comparing Q4 2020 to Q4 2021, the minimum price increase per unit is around $150 for apartments and around $300 for houses.

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