EMU’s Welcome Home Plan is an equity initiative that will transform on-campus student housing to ensure that EMU students have access to quality and affordable housing with modern technology that meets the demands of today’s academic world. EMU’s student housing facilities have generally been neglected for decades, and it is time to reverse this trend and invest in housing for our students. An extensive engagement process took place over an 8 month process to include student/faculty feedback. To learn more, visit our Engagement page.
Three renovated residence halls—Downing, Putnam, and Walton—are now open, and Phelps and Sellers are currently being renovated. In new construction, Lakeview and Westview apartments will open in Fall 2024.
EMU and its partners are investing more than $200 million from 2022-2024 to construct new on-campus student housing, renovate existing housing, and demolish outdated housing. Downing, Putnam, Walton will re-open Fall 2023. Phelps and Sellers will re-open Fall 2024. Lakeview and Westview will open Fall 2024.
The Welcome Home Plan is an equity initiative. Its goal is to ensure that EMU student housing residents -- nearly 40% of whom are students of color -- have access to quality and affordable housing.
The need for quality and affordable on-campus student housing with modern technology standards became even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many students struggled with housing affordability and access to technology. The Welcome Home Plan will address this gap by upgrading EMU’s student housing facilities to meet 21st Century standards.
External financing is required to ensure the long-term success of this initiative. EMU will partner with Gilbane Development Company, which will coordinate financing for the transaction through long-term, fixed rate bonds, and is overseeing the new construction, renovation and demolition. You can read more here about the financing structure.
Long-term affordability for students is the University’s primary goal, which was reflected in responses to the University's request for proposals (RFP).
EMU students live in and pay for on-campus housing. Students were integrally involved in the planning and design of the new and renovated housing, and will continue to provide input into the ongoing operations of student housing.
Residence life is a key component of student success. That’s why EMU will continue to manage all aspects of the residence life experience, including: hiring, training, and supervising resident advisors; assigning rooms to student residents; collecting student payments; and managing student housing contracts.
EMU is not selling any facilities or privatizing any aspect of student housing. EMU will continue to operate all aspects of the residence life operation, including hiring/supervising RAs, processing housing applications and assigning rooms, collecting payments from students, and managing compliance with housing agreements.
EMU will provide quality control oversight over
the maintenance, custodial, and other services provided by Gilbane. EMU and Gilbane will launch new customer satisfaction systems to ensure that student residents’ needs are timely addressed, and student satisfaction surveys will be integrated into Housing operations.
Other universities that Eastern considers to be peer institutions are investing considerable sums of money to upgrade their student housing to meet the demands of current and future prospective students. Many of these projects involve Public-Private Partnerships (P3). Eastern must take similar action or we risk being at a competitive disadvantage. See what other universities are doing.