Loyola and Tulane universities bring about 11,000 students each year to the Uptown area. Dorms available for students, however, are limited. With insufficient student housing available, both Loyola and Tulane have announced the beginning of new residential buildings on their campuses.
In November, Tulane announced through email the beginning of the first phase of a new project that will add an additional 1,200 beds to their student housing, according to Tulane spokesperson Michael Strecker.
By the end of this summer, Strecker said, 700 beds will be added to Tulane’s campus living.
In December, Loyola also announced the construction of a new dorm hall beginning in 2024, which is set to hold 600 beds. This will be the largest dormitory at the university.
Both Tulane and Loyola require first year and sophomore students to live on campus.
According to an email to staff and faculty at Loyola, there currently is not enough housing for students to fill this requirement. “In total, more than 2,000 students have to find housing off campus each year,” Carol Markowitz, Loyola’s chief operating officer, wrote.
Tulane now has 14 residential halls for on-campus housing. Another two, Lake and River residence halls, are set to be completed this summer.
According to Tulane’s housing website, six of the current housing options are only available to first-year students. Another one offers housing for both first year and upperclassmen.
According to an admissions blog, this year’s first-year class only enrolled roughly 1,750 students, which is fewer than before. This was due to an increase of students accepting their admission offer the previous year.
Next door at Loyola, there are five residential halls available. Only two offer living for first-year students, one of which is only first year, and another that is a mix of upperclassmen as well.
With this insufficient housing, upperclassmen at these universities are seeking different options for living. One of these options is the controversial “doubles-to-dorms.”
Doubles-to-dorms is the practice purchasing local homes and renovating them to house more people than they were originally designed for, then renting them by the room to college students living off campus.
Uptown New Orleans has seen an increase in this practice in the past few years, causing neighbors in the area to fight the issue.
With this increase in frustration from some residents in the University area, Strecker said Tulane is trying to ease the pressure on surrounding neighborhoods.
“We respect and highly value the importance and uniqueness of every New Orleans neighborhood. Tulane is actively working to reduce pressure on housing in the university area by constructing new residence halls,” Strecker said.
At Loyola, officials are hoping to help with students searching for alternate housing with the construction of their new dorm hall.
“Students are looking for apartment-style housing rather than the dormitory style of most of our facilities,” wrote Markowitz in her email to faculty and staff.
In the email to students, Markowitz confirmed the new dorm, built in the same spot where Mercy Hall currently resides, will provide this apartment-style living.
Kloe Witt is a journalism student at Loyola University and a reporting intern at NOLA Messenger. She can be reached at email@example.com.