At its meeting last week, the Student Housing Task Force revealed the results of a months-long effort by the Planning Department to compile a comprehensive inventory of the city's student-housing stock, as the city weighs what, if any, actions it should take to address the issue.
All told, the city estimates that there are 14,615 units and 36,508 beds that qualify as student-housing in Auburn. Auburn University's current enrollment is 30,460. It's projected to increase slightly to 32,000 over the next five years.
The grand total included multi-unit developments, Auburn University on-campus housing, academic detached dwelling units (ADDUs) and mobile home lots. All student-housing types are included in the data except duplexes, townhouses and single-family detached homes not classified as ADDUs.
The city plumbed the data and information from a number of sources to compile as accurate and comprehensive an inventory as possible, including from the city's Residential Rental Tax Remittance records, Planning Department, Inspection Services and Public Safety files, Geographic Information Systems information, as well as information gleaned from the Danter Reports, Auburn Housing Authority, Auburn University housing, 360 Property Management, Auburn Realty, Evans Realty, First Realty Property Management, Northcutt Realty, Henssler Property Management, Redmont Properties and Summer Wind Apartments.
The study provides a detailed accounting of the city's student-housing stock by development, although it does not touch upon vacancy, which is proprietary information and difficult to assess.
The grand total also includes two unidentified projects, where developers and city staff have begun preliminary talks but where no plans have been finalized or submitted. Those two projects would add another 473 units and 1,278 beds to the city's housing stock.
"Regardless of what individual opinions are, officially, we're getting exactly what we intended to get," said Planning Director Forrest Cotten about the effects of the zoning changes implemented with the Downtown Master Plan that incentivized student-housing projects in Urban Neighborhood – West. "You're not seeing private dorms on the east side of downtown."
Auburn Mayor Ron Anders asked task force members to digest the study and provide input over the coming weeks.