The Auburn Student Housing Task Force will hold another meeting next month to hear a report on the thoughts of those affected most by the topic — students.
Recently, a number of forums moderated by an independent staff member of Auburn University asked students of different ages, nationalities, home towns and with different interests what they thought about student housing and what they are interested in.
It is important that the city understand student housing from the perspective of students, said Auburn Mayor Ron Anders, who created the task force after his election last fall.
"We have a lot of people who tell us how the students feel about student housing. We have studies that tell us, but we’ve never asked the students how they feel about student housing. It’s just another tool that we have at our disposal," said Anders. "But I think it’s important for our community to know that we’re digging deep to try to really uncover what the reality is of student housing, and there’s no better place to go than to the people who are going to be using student housing."
The Student Housing Task Force will hear a report on the feedback garnered from the forums at its May 8 meeting, which will start at 4 p.m. in the City of Auburn Meeting Room at 122 Tichenor Ave.
That information will build upon the Danter Report, a study conducted by Danter & Associates to analyze student housing and determine its market potential that was updated last October.
The task force reviewed that material during its meeting in April.
"While the Danter Report is a very well thought out document, the market and everything that is happening in Auburn is so fluid that it was my belief that … there’s still more to know and more to understand," said Anders. "I believe that report is one of our tools that we have at our disposal to make the determinations as to what this task force recommends for student housing going forward. It’s one of our tools, and it’s a good tool. It’s a good place to start from."
Anders added that he is pleased with the pace the task force is taking while it waits for more information from Auburn University about its plans for student enrollment and on-campus student housing.
"I think we’re moving forward methodically. We didn’t get into this situation overnight, and I think we’re not going to create a solution or an objective or a future pathway overnight," he said. "Those are two big determinations that will impact the city’s future objectives with student housing."
Anders said he also has plans to create a "homegrown" group of people to conduct a labor-intensive study of student housing inventory in the city.
"I'm committed to getting this done," he said.