Students scramble to find housing

Photo courtesy: Zaneta Douglas

Since announcing in July that residence halls had reached capacity, Florida A&M
students are left to hunt down affordable housing as the already tight market tightens
even more. It hasn’t always gone well.

Gainesville native Zaneta Douglas, a junior at FAMU, is among many students who
have yet to secure a lease for the fall semester.

“Not only has it affected me negatively financially, but it’s restricted my ability to succeed
in my classes,” Douglas said.

Many off-campus student housing sites have been filled, like The Boulevard, Social
27000, and Social Seminole, to name a few. Students have resorted to subleasing from
other students or leasing a bedroom from homeowners looking to help students with
housing needs. Jennifer Francois, a Florida State University freshman, has turned to
social media to hunt down housing and is periodically checking for vacancies on the
“Tallahassee sublease page” on Facebook.

“Every day, it’s an uphill battle because I’m a freshman with no car, new to town, and
staying in a hotel to attend classes. I’m grateful my parents can help me until I find a
place. I’m always looking on social media to see who offers to sublease their current
lease, but you must be quick because, like how I’m looking for housing, many more
students are searching just as well.”

Christic Henry, a local real estate agent, told the Tallahassee Democrat, “For right now, I
think that there is enough inventory in the market to manage the right now’s, I just think
it has to be discovered,” Henry said.

“I’ve been actively looking for the past month and a half,” Douglas said.

Many are hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel, but with August coming to an end
and school already underway, students like Douglas and Francois are feeling the
pressure and the door is closing on them. Rent prices are actively rising on a day-to-day

When asked what her backup plan would be if she couldn’t find a lease, Douglas said, “I
would plan to go back home to Gainesville and postpone my education.”

Like many other students Douglas is hoping to lock down a lease and be able to put this
behind her before having to give up and come back in the spring.