Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Upperclassmen scramble to find housing

Clouded by stress and confusion, the upperclassmen rush for off-campus housing has arrived. Although some students have not even begun to think about where they are going to live next year, many landlords claim they have already found renters for all of their houses.
“Once one person starts, then everyone has to, it’s like a race,” said junior Jessie Conrad.
Landlord and Whitman graduate Leah Taylor owns five properties in Walla Walla for student rental. She recommends students find housing soon after winter break.

“We typically have every house rented by the end of January for the following school year,” Taylor said.

Taylor also advises students to pay attention to the listserv and to ask friends for the e-mail addresses or phone numbers of their landlords. A lot of landlords own more than one property and can help students find housing.

“Once you find a house you want to rent, don’t delay, get a lease signed,” Taylor said.
Other good places to look are the classified ads in the Union-Bulletin and on the message board in the Reid Campus Center basement. It can also be a good idea to post a message on the student listserv asking if anything is available for your group.

“I feel like I’m going around in the dark. When I talk to landlords they say they’re full and I don’t know when I was supposed to start looking,” said sophomore Amelia Gallaher.
For students unable to find off-campus housing through landlords and friends with leases they are willing to pass down, the college owns 28 additional rental properties. These houses provide 127 students with housing and are still considered off-campus despite being owned by the college.

The houses are put in a lottery held shortly after spring break. If a junior lives in a house they are allowed to keep the house for the following year, but can stay for a maximum of two years. This precludes passing the lease down to underclassmen friends.

“We don’t think its fair to pass the house down. For one thing we need to give all of the people who don’t have the opportunity of knowing someone who lives in one of the houses the opportunity to get in. Also, it makes it much harder to do projects,” said Rental Property Manager Kathy O’Leary.

The 28 homes are on a rotating project schedule. Three or four houses are targeted for updating every year. This means students may have the opportunity to live an a recently remodeled home or in one which has been subjected to 10 years of wear and tear.

Whitman-owned houses try to keep rent low, but it is generally a little more expensive comparable area rents. This is in part because the school pays for utilities. The school does not subsidize those extra costs, but adds to the rent what the projected utility bill will be.
Upperclassmen who have gone through the process note that while housing may initially be stressful to find, it eventually all works out.

“It’s totally doable. I like how reasonable it is to live in Walla Walla. It’s about half of what my friends pay in real cities,” said senior Mollie Price.

The date of the housing lottery will announced shortly before spring break and the available houses can be looked at online at the Residence Life Web page: whitman.edu/content/business_office/rental/student-rental-properties.

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