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FAMU eyes buying more on-campus student housing

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Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Florida A&M University is looking at purchasing apartments and townhomes near campus to meet an increased demand for on-campus student housing.

“More students want to live on campus because they see it as being cheaper," said William Hudson, vice president of student affairs.

The proposed property for purchase includes four duplexes, 32 apartment units and 14 condominium units. About 1.3 acres of undeveloped land is also included. University officials say building more housing on that land is a possibility.

The three off-campus student housing communities are located on Conklin Street, between FAMU Way and Eugenia Street. If the purchase goes through, they would become on-campus student housing in fall of 2023.

The property is within walking distance of the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and the School of Business and Industry.

The units would accommodate 116 additional students who want to live on campus. Right now, the tenants are mostly FAMU students, with 74% of the residents attending the university.

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Florida A&M University
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Board of Trustees Meeting Presentation
Florida A&M University is could acquire apartments and townhomes on Conklin Street to expand on-campus housing in fall 2023.

The off-campus housing complexes FAMU is looking to purchase are part of the Brooklyn Yard community. They include: Paces, Twelve-Twenty and Lighthouse.

“Then we take that back to the board of trustees for approval for us to move forward and request funding from the U.S. Department of Education,” Hudson said. “We’ve got to seek approval. It’s an entire process.”

The university would enhance security, including installing a gated entrance, cameras and adding a brick wall.

In July, the university offered upperclassmen the opportunity to get help paying for off-campus housing and a free meal plan. About 120 students took advantage of the offer, freeing up space for the university to place every student under the age 18. Hudson says the number of students in search of housing has dwindled to about 300 students.

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.