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USU students scramble for housing after apartments drop them from lease



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

LOGAN — Some students at Utah State University are in a crunch to find housing after hundreds were dumped from their leases at a new apartment complex.

The plan was to let students move into the half of the complex that's more complete while the other half is finished, but the city said they could not approve the certificate of occupancy because of issues with safety, accessibility and parking. And now, over 200 students are left looking for housing.

"They emailed everybody saying that the building won't be ready in time," said Taylor Ellsworth.

If you're leaving home for the first time, a brand-new apartment might sound pretty good. But as Ellsworth learned in this case, it was too good to be true. And right now, her fall semester plans are changing completely.

"I just don't have a place to live up there, so I'm not going up to Utah State anymore," she said.

She'll take a semester off to work and take it from there.

Ellsworth is one of the many students who learned suddenly that 800 Block apartments wouldn't be ready in time, for the second year in a row.

"I think what's hard about it is you have students that want to be Aggies, and if they can't come to Utah State because they don't have a place to sleep, then it gets to be tough for them to enroll," said Katie Jo North, executive director of student enrollment at USU.

North said they got word about 800 Block on the same day students did.

"We're doing the legwork," she said. "We're calling and making sure that they have housing opportunities."

North said staff at USU are even asking people in the public who might have space to please reach out.

There is still housing out there, but North said "it's pretty slim."

"And now, we have a lot of students that are looking," she added.

That's the problem Ellsworth said she ran into — often 50 to 60 people competing for one apartment. And it's why the decision she's making now, it really sucks.

"Yeah, it's my education and I'm putting it on hold because of, like, an apartment complex," she said. "It doesn't, like, I don't know, it's really upsetting. It's really frustrating, you know, because I can't really control it."

Some students are petitioning the builders to find housing for each displaced student.

Meanwhile, USU Housing Services is regularly updating available apartments on its website.

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Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson often doubles as his own photographer, shooting and editing most of his stories. He came to KSL in April 2011 after working for several years at various broadcast news outlets.

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