As classes begin, UNC Charlotte students face challenges with on-campus housing shortage

CHARLOTTE — If you live or work in the University City area expect to see a lot more activity starting Monday.

It’s the first day of classes for students at UNC Charlotte, but it hasn’t been the easiest start to the year for some students. The university is short housing and students have had to scramble to find a place to live.

At last check, UNC Charlotte told Channel 9 that 150 students are staying in a pair of hotels and an apartment complex despite meeting the application deadline and paying a deposit for on-campus housing.

Last month, we told you more than 400 students were waitlisted and not assigned student housing for the 2022 school year.

University officials told Channel 9 that more students applied for housing than the university anticipated.

Since then, the school has placed just 24 student in its dorms. Another 150 students were placed in “expanded housing,” meaning off site accommodations.

Still, the number of students in need of housing has gone down as folks were canceled their housing contracts and found other living arrangements.

That includes Makayla Dockery, a junior who lived on campus for the first two years at UNC Charlotte -- she said she’s spent a lot of time on her phone looking for a place to stay.

“That’s $1,400 a month; way out of my price range,” Dockery said while scrolling past a potential rental. “It’s been a very long process. I still haven’t found anything and it’s August 15th.”

Last month, Dockery went to apply for a third year of on-campus housing, but she discovered a notice on the university’s website saying that due to high demand and a lack of cancellations, the school stopped accepting applications after June 1.

“I just assumed that I was coming back, but apparently not,” she said.

Instead, Dockery will be going back to school with a one-hour commute from her home in Stanly County. She says living on campus is such a big part of her college experience, adding that the long commute makes her feel like she’s “coming to day camp.”

UNC Charlotte tells Channel 9 that at least one new dormitory is being built to house nearly 700 students. According to the school, construction was delayed back in 2020, but it’s expected to open next August, when Dockery will be a senior.

The university said if on-campus housing become available during the fall semester, students would have the option to switch where they live.

(WATCH BELOW: Nonprofit helping solve Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis by saving, moving homes)