In an attempt to induce students to move off-campus and to provide housing for transfer students, Harvard has decided to subsidize rent in four apartment houses, College officials said yesterday.
The College will lease blocks of apartments from Harvard Real Estate (HRE) and rent them out to students at reduced costs for the school year, said Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57.
Although the details of the housing plan are not yet final, HRE Vice President Nancy Kossan said that the College is currently considering renting 29 Garden St., Peabody Terrace, the Botanical Gardens and 8-10 Mt. Auburn St. to undergraduates.
Leases will not include the summer months, so that undergraduates would not be deterred by the prospect of having to sublet the apartments, Jewett said. Although the rent will probably be more that on-campus room contracts, Jewett said, "The rentals will be subsidized substantially."
In addition, undergraduates who choose to live in affiliate housing will have the option of going off board entirely or purchasing partial meal contracts, Jewett said.
College officials said they have not yet determined whether students living in the apartments will be affiliated with Dudley House or the residential houses.
The College currently leases apartments in several HRE buildings and rents them to students in several different ways.
North House students displaced by renovations pay regular College room and board fees for their Botanical Gardens apartments, but transfer students may currently rent apartments in Peabody Terrace at the prevailing HRE rates for a 12-month period and do not have to purchase meal contracts.
The Peabody Terrace option has been available to some transfer students, who are not guaranteed on-campus housing, for the past two years, said Housing Officer Lisa M. Colvin.
Transfer students who wanted to live in affiliated housing last summer entered a lottery for the right to live in 36 available spots in Peabody, she said. The rest of the 80 entering sophomores had to find their own housing, she said.
Under the new plan, more apartments will be available for transfer students, Jewett said. "Our long-run goal is to house everybody," he said. "At the beginning we might not take care of everybody, but we do hope to house substantial numbers."
The co-chairmen of the Dudley house committee, both of whom are transfer students, applauded the decision to expand affiliate housing although they said that more needs to be done to help transfer students fit in.
"Getting more apartment spaces will guarantee some sense of community," said Rena Miller '89. "But it's doubtful this will help transfer students who feel like outsiders."
Miller advocated allowing transfer students to affiliate with any residential house rather than automatically assigning them to Dudley.
Said co-chairman Lee D. Cramner III '88, "The biggest change we could possibly desire is having the Dudley dining hall open for dinner. Among transfer students, everyone eats lunch together at Dudley because that's where the social life is."