One North Texas university is trying to cope with the rising need for lower-income student housing options.
The University of Texas at Dallas is facing the significant challenge of accommodating an increasing number of students with adequate housing and facilities. Student enrollment reached 31,750 this fall, whereas the current inventory for student beds stands at approximately 8,200 units.
“The need for student housing … is very, very dire — much more dire than most onlookers realize,” said Daniel Yahalom, president of Comets for Better Transit, a UT Dallas student organization, according to Community Impact.
UT Dallas’ 2018 Campus Master Plan highlighted a pressing need to expand its student facilities. It projected a student population of 35,000 by the 2025 academic year and outlined a plan to add over 1,300 new beds. This figure also includes replacing 620 beds due to the demolition and reconstruction of older student apartments.
Calvin Jamison, vice president of facilities and economic development at UT Dallas, told Community Impact that the university’s plan was to have 10,000 housing units available on or near the campus by 2025. He also mentioned that classrooms, eateries, and green spaces will also need expansion as the student body grows.
Moreover, he stressed that students will more easily commute to campus in Richardson from elsewhere around North Texas once the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Silver Line starts service in mid-2026. Some can even live in a new 36-acre development spearheaded by Wolverine Interests near where the future UT Dallas Silver Line station will be built. The mixed-use complex will have 3,000 market-rate residential units and should be finished in a decade or more.
While agreeing that the Silver Line will help students out with their commute, Yahalom bemoaned UT Dallas’ failure to provide housing relief now.
“It’s been five years, and to my knowledge, all that’s [been] done with those promises and new housing is just a single report [that] doesn’t make any preliminary research and construction or anything like that,” Yahalom said.