Providing Affordable Housing for Students on Campus

By Alliya Bojador, Seth Chen, Charlie Tan, Dominique Thomas, Jon Winney

A 2017 campus master plan for the University of Washington Bothell proposes three new buildings dedicated to housing, potentially stimulating campus life and student involvement.

UW Bothell currently has the capacity to house approximately 322 students across three separate apartment complexes. However, the University didn’t start out with the housing amenities it currently has. Established in 1990, the campus was nothing more than a simple warehouse. In fact, it only offered degrees in IAS. Due to rapid growth and the continuous expansion of student life on campus, the University opened up their student housing program in 2009. 

Campus View, an apartment complex located half a mile off campus, was the first complex added to the housing plan and provided 42 beds. Within the following year, they expanded to 72 beds with the addition of the Chapman Manor. It wasn’t until 2011 when the University of Washington Bothell announced their first on-campus housing, Husky Village. Within Husky Village, nearly 240 beds were provided for on-campus living. 

Today, the campus is one of the fastest-growing four-year universities in the state of Washington. As more students choose the Bothell campus over Seattle or Tacoma, the need for student housing and campus life has increased drastically. Once again, the University is looking for ways to increase housing amenities. 

According to Kelly Snyder, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government and Community Relations, the University is currently considering how they might “redevelop Husky Village” to support more housing through what is known as the 2017 Campus Master Plan. Within the master plan, Husky Village would be converted into 2 large buildings. Additionally, 2 new buildings would be located south of the ARC and act as a Residence and Dining Hall. The new plan would also shut down commuter access along Campus Way which runs North-South through the lower end of campus. The plan claims that doing so would enhance pedestrian safety, provide bike access, and support the environment by adding stormwater management opportunities. 

The new building additions would occur in different timelines. The new residence and dining hall next to the arc is projected as a “near term” develop – which the plan explains is “assumed to be completed in the next six to ten years as funding becomes available.” The reconfiguration of Husky Village is projected as a long-term development with no current estimated timeline. 

Miranda Swanson, a UW Bothell student, shares her experience living on Bothell’s campus during her academic career. 

Regarding UW Bothell’s future plans to renovate and expand student housing, Swanson claims that from the years 2015-2019, there have been little to no change involving campus development. “There have been no major changes to any of the apartments over the years except for them adding a third bed and more furniture in some units, as well as them adding parking passes that must be paid for.” 

Miranda also notes that the parking lots had previously been free and included in housing costs. Housing costs have increased over the years as well. Miranda also shared that she is aware of the school’s future plans to increase housing options, and hopes that the quality of housing will also be taken into consideration when it comes to the new additions on campus. 

I’m happy that future residents are able to experience those new amenities yet disappointed because I was not able to,” she admits. “Instead I’ve experienced ants, black mold, breaking appliances, flooded toilets, broken doors, broken blinds, and more. I have hope that the housing conditions will improve with the renovation and brand new additions.”

Miranda has lived in both Campus Way apartments and Husky Village apartments. With graduation in June of 2019, Miranda will not see what future development plans hold for UW Bothell. 

While students wait for more housing options, the affordability of the campus’ current housing options is open for debate. A single occupancy room runs at a quarterly rate that converts to $1,420 per month. Double occupancy rooms cost $1,040 per month, and triple occupancy rooms run $916.67 per month. Rent includes all utilities and cable TV services. However, parking is an additional $120 per quarter at Husky Village, and $60 per quarter at the Campus View apartments. 

These rates fall close to the median rental price for this area of Bothell, one bedroom apartments in Bothell rent for $1593 a month on average (1.44% increase from last year) and two bedroom apartment rents average $1942 (2.37% increase from last year). These numbers do not include the cost of utilities, and students looking to find off campus rent at this price may be disappointed at what local apartment complexes are charging.  For comparison, The Merc is a brand-new apartment complex in downtown Bothell, located half a mile from Husky Village apartments. Their current rental price for a studio apartment ranges from $1,599 – $1,675, according to apartments.com. Though, there are many options surrounding the Bothell area such as Canyon Park and Lynnwood that can be more cost effective along with a longer commute to campus. 

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