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UD student housing at issue after Newark targets off-campus 'super-parties'

Delaware Public Media

There’s renewed focus on housing in Newark in the wake of a new city law cracking down on University of Delaware students’ off-campus parties.

University of Delaware president Dennis Assanis fielded questions from lawmakers about student housing this week.

Assanis defended the school against last year’s Princeton Review ranking naming UD the #1 party school in the country. The city of Newark passed a law last month cracking down on “super-parties” in off-campus housing.

Newark passed its law cracking down on “super-parties” last month and some Newark residents say UD also needs to build more on-campus housing for students.

Newark mayoral candidate Catherine Ciferni said she’s concerned the higher education market will shrink in the future - leaving a surplus of off-campus undergraduate housing.

Ciferni adds it’s difficult for some - like school teachers or graduate students - to afford housing in Newark because rents are so high.

“You have so many rental units roughly going for $950 to $1,000 a bedroom, that’s going to overprice the house out of market for families,” she said.

Ciferni is running against 10-term councilman Jerry Clifton, aerospace engineer Brandon Farzad and UD graduate student Kasai Guthrie.

Some Newark residents also complain about student behavior in off-campus housing. Newark resident Amy Roe said student housing has overtaken many single-family homes, including in her neighborhood. She said there’s a lack of affordable housing and some of her student neighbors engage in inappropriate behavior.

“Public urination is unfortunately one that I’ve seen a lot," she said. "Even, you know walking out the door and seeing it or around it. And it’s not just men, it’s also women.”

UD’s student newspaper, The Review, said the school is set to take over the University Courtyard Apartments in July, which can house 880 students. It also reports UD expects to close Brown and Sypherd Halls for a full academic year in 2020.

UD recently eliminated on-campus beds by closing Christiana Towers, displacing about 1,300 students. Warner Hall is also being converted into a counseling and wellness center, eliminating 68 beds.

The university did not respond to a request for comment.

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