TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "It was a little difficult at first."
Adiel Green is a freshman at Florida A&M University. Despite some ups and downs, she says she feels lucky to secure on-campus housing from the university.
"They were able to work it out."
But, 395 other FAMU students are still waiting for a place to live.
"This is a nationwide issue."
Dr. William Hudson Jr. is the Vice President of Student Affairs at FAMU. He says they've seen a huge increase in returning students wanting to live on campus.
"I think it's due to COVID-19 and the isolation that a lot of students experienced and so they want to be in that campus environment."
That, plus the rising cost of off-campus rentals, is causing students to turn to an extended stay hotel as an alternative option.
"At least 10 to 15 in the last week and usually it's just a couple and so we're getting calls that they want to stay the whole semester which is really odd usually it's just for a few days around move-in."
Tony McClure is the General Manager of Home2 Suites on Magnolia Drive. He says he's received a lot of calls from both FAMU and Florida State students for a place to stay...and is having to turn people away.... because there's just no space.
"We've been busy for these next couple of weeks for awhile now and so what they're asking for we're not able to do especially when there's a football game at the end of the month so it's been very difficult to get them in."
To address the housing shortage, FAMU is planning to purchase and build new residences.
"It will be fixed this will be done it's always a learning experience it's a good thing to have so many students that are interested in the university and wanting to come."
Dr. Hudson says they need approval from the US Department of Education first, before they can expand. Once they get it, over 230 new beds could be ready by Spring 2023. He says they also want to build brand new residences with a goal of 2,000 more beds within the next 6 years.