University Will House Married Grad Students
The University made its first step to relieve the plight of married graduate students yesterday when it took title to the Irving Apartments, 28-34 Irving St., which it will use for married student apartments.
Students will be able to move into the building after July 1, when most of the present occupants will have left. Rent for the building will be "about the same" as the Irving Apartments now charges, which will be "reasonable, within the reach of graduate students," Charles P. Whitlock, Assistant to the President for Civic Affairs, said yesterday. Tenants of the building now pay between $80 and $90, one resident said yesterday.
Although non-student tenants were notified last month that they would have to leave by July, students in the building will be able to stay on. Student tenants have not yet been notified of this, however, and many have been in doubt for a month as to what would happen to them.
Hardship cases among non-student tenants will be given "special consideration," Whitlock emphasized. Rather than force out residents as the University did two years ago with the Prescott St. apartments, it will "handle these cases individually." Some residents have lived in the building for 28 years.
The University hopes to build new housing facilities for married graduate students, but, Whitlock noted, "it will be several years before we can do this." The new purchase is thus "the first step in the alleviation" of the problem. At present there are about 2500 married graduate students, many of whom live in basement apartments in the slums of Somerville. Many are unable to pay average Cambridge rents, which exceed $100.
About 80 families will be able to live in the Irving St. building, which is four stories high, without elevators.