Report: Student Rental Housing Task Force in Tuscaloosa met its goals


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Initial efforts have succeeded in slowing the growth of large-scale, student-based apartment complexes in Tuscaloosa, according to a report Thursday at the mayor’s Student Rental Housing Task Force meeting.

The report also said it could be time to reassess the efforts of the task force, formed by Mayor Walt Maddox’s executive order in June 2013.

The task force met with housing experts and other professionals for the latter half of that year to develop nine recommendations to serve as checks on the growth of large student-only developments.

The group reconvened for the first time on Thursday since it finalized the recommendations in October 2013. Members heard a report conducted by the Alabama Center for Real Estate at the University of Alabama in conjunction with Rock Apartment Advisors, a Birmingham-based multifamily development brokerage and advisory firm.

Justin Uffinger and Bo Flurry of Rock Apartment Advisors told the task force members that the development of apartments set to be available within the Tuscaloosa area is expected to slow this year and 2016.

And by 2017, there are no apartments planned for development within the city.

“And we don’t expect to see any University (of Alabama-based) housing in the next year or so,” Uffinger said.

As of September 2014, there were 8,799 student-based bedrooms available across the city in privately owned complexes of 60 or more units.

On the UA campus, there were 2,087 additional bedrooms available, excluding those in Greek-based housing, such as fraternity and sorority houses.

Of the private developments, 1,534 bedrooms were opened in 2014. An additional 1,575 are set to become available in 2015 and 1,105 more are planned for 2016.