“University of Akron student Shelby Wiedt and her five roommates will be homeless at the end of the year. Wiedt and her roomates were informed last week that their house on Nash Street would be torn down this winter due to the construction of InfoCision stadium.””
University of Akron student Shelby Wiedt and her five roommates will be homeless at the end of the year.
Wiedt and her roomates were informed last week that their house on Nash Street would be torn down this winter due to the construction of InfoCision stadium.
We moved into our house at the end of August, she said. At the beginning of October, we began to hear talk about the stadium. Last week, we received letters from our landlord and the University of Akron telling us to be out by Dec. 31.
According to Wiedt, her landlord told the women they would be guaranteed at least one year in the house when they signed the lease in March.
I feel like we kind of got screwed over by our landlord and the university, she said. I don’t feel like they are being very sympathetic at all.
Paul Calderone, also a UA student lives in the house next door to Wiedt. He shares her feelings.
Ten guys live here, and the university isn’t really trying to help us out, he complained. There’s really nowhere for us to go.
According to UA law professor, William Jordan, as long as a public institution such as the UA fully compensates the businesses and residents over whom the institution is exercising eminent domain, the practice of eminent domain is allowed. Tenants also have certain rights, he said.
If the lease does not address eminent domain, then the tenant is entitled to the share of the property, he explained. For example, if a student still has six months left on their lease, then they are entitled to the market value of the rent for six months.
Paul Herold, UA’s vice president of public affairs and development said the university is matching that required compensation to the 40 students believed to be living in houses in the stadium footprint.
We’re offering the students $1,500 and assistance in finding off-campus housing in similar quality and similar pricing, he said.
Wiedt, however, wasn’t pleased with the compensation. She said it would be impossible to find available housing in a safe area where all of her roommates could live together.
They’re giving us money, but it doesn’t matter, she said. I’d rather have a place to live until the end of the school year.
Daniel Clark, a UA student living in an apartment building on Spicer Street, agrees.
We have to move in such a short amount of time, he said.
Herold said the university did not have much choice in this matter.
We notified the students as soon as we legally could, he said. Originally, we were asking the landlords to give us the property by Nov. 1 and have extended the deadline to Dec. 31.
In an attempt to assist students who are to be evicted at the end of the year, Herold’s office held a meeting to find new housing.
We had a real estate agent in to help the students, he said. We’re committed to doing everything we can to help them find somewhere else to live.
Wiedt, however, did not find the meeting very helpful. It sounds kind of unorganized, she said. It sounds like they don’t even have places to put the on-campus students, let alone the off-campus-ones.
They haven’t helped us out at all, agreed Clark.
In addition to Wiedt’s housing area, residence houses Wallaby, Wallaroo, Joey and Brown will be torn down. According to Herold, however, some of the houses may be able to stay until next fall.
There are some units that we think we may able to keep, and we will let the students know as we find out, he said. We’re trying to move a project forward without causing the students a major inconvenience. It can get messy but we are committed to working if need be on a case-by-case basis.
It’s nuts, Wiedt said. I’m getting kicked out of my home.