UMD social distancing requirements push the need for more off-campus housing. New construction is underway for both on- and off-campus housing. Developments still progressing despite COVID-19 slowdown. The latest issue of the PGCRE Newsletter: Upper County is available! James Miers and Stephen Catalano discuss the latest news in College Park and the surrounding area. Read more below or click here for the full newsletter.
UMD SOCIAL DISTANCING INCREASES NEED FOR HOUSING
When the University of Maryland, College Park reopens on August 31st, social distancing rules will force changes in daily life: masks will be required in university buildings, students will be asked to wipe down surfaces they use, and classes of over 50 students will be entirely online.
Meanwhile, the university expects to house “more than 75%” of students who applied for on-campus housing, despite converting all triple and quad dorm rooms to doubles. Some dorm lounges will be converted to residences – a change that began prior to the pandemic – and some on-campus lounges outside of dormitories will be closed entirely.
The decreased density of on-campus housing means there is more demand for off-campus living. Private student housing living quarters tend to be less dense buildings already: accommodation per square foot is higher and the number of students using each bathroom and toilet is lower. For these reasons, it is likely that the demand for off-campus housing will increase in the short term as the pandemic reduces on-campus availability more than it has reduced demand for enrollment. According to one property manager at a student housing complex, phones have been “ringing off the hook” after the university first clarified its fall semester living guidelines and classroom rules on June 15th.