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Officials say new housing planned; meanwhile, early apps get rooms

By Cheryl Daniel , editor-in-chief
On September 27, 2019

Anthony Jackson/Courtbouillon

NEW ORLEANS (September 26, 2019) – DU officials are making plans for new housing on the razed DUALS site just off-campus, but no start or completion date has been announced.

Meanwhile, the Office of Residential Life is encouraging students to start the housing application process as early as possible.

A new residence hall will replace the former DUALS apartment complex. The site on Norman Mayer Avenue was razed over the summer in anticipation of construction, according to Ralph Johnson, vice president of business and finance and chief financial officer.

Johnson said the new housing is in its early stages of planning, with Dillard seeking designers and architects for the project.

Dillard houses around 700 students across five residence halls on campus.  Dillard also has a two-year academic year housing lease agreement with Southern University at New Orleans, or SUNO, a neighboring HBCU. The partnership started in 2017, and more than 130 additional Dillard students live there.

Once the new residence hall is constructed (which could be years away), Dillard then plans to start deferred maintenance on Williams Hall and the Gardens, according to Dr. Danette Saylor, assistant vice president for student success and dean of students.

That means some units in those locations will be placed offline, so plans are to continue using housing at SUNO until both construction and maintenance projects are complete.

As enrollment increases, the need for student housing also increases, so La’Toya Lewis, area coordinator for residential life and judicial programs, urged students to seek housing immediately upon registering for classes.

She compared registering for classes and applying for housing to attending a major conference.

“Once you register for the conference, the next step is finding a place to live. Once a student registers for classes, students should apply for housing shortly after,” Lewis said.

Correspondence for housing contracts start as early as March. During spring 2019, the office of residential life sent several campus-wide emails and had informational sessions for students concerned about housing.

To secure guaranteed housing. Lewis reminded students they must:

  • Submit your FAFSA starting Oct. 1.
  • Register as a full-time student on campus.
  • Submit a housing contract.
  • Clear balances.

Lewis emphasized, “If students don’t clear balances, they cannot register. If they do not register, they won’t be assigned. If they register late, that does not guarantee that we will have availability once they register.”

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