OPINION: The K-State Foundation Alumni Village poses a threat to affordable student housing

(Rendering Courtesy of KSU Foundation)

As a former student senator at Kansas State, I attended a K-State Housing Forum sponsored by the Student Governing Association Governmental Relations Committee, where students could voice their concerns with local leaders last year.

Students came forward and described horrible living conditions, impossible-to-deal-with landlords and the general feeling of being unheard.

That forum revealed to me that student housing, and affordable housing in general, has been under attack in Manhattan for some time now. The lack of oversight and meaningful change to fix this issue has left students and community members feeling alienated.

The K-State Foundation Alumni Village merely provides wealthy alumni with another expensive housing option that is out of students’ reach. Frankly, most of Manhattan can’t afford these units — the price of the cheapest unit is almost $500,000.

While I know the foundation previously set out to dedicate the corner to a public-private partnership housing project, I’m not sure this proposed project is the answer either. The Alumni Village will literally be built in the rubble of affordable housing — affordable houses currently occupied by students will need to be torn down for this project to proceed. Furthermore, the high cost of these living spaces could cause the price of other near campus housing options to increase.

I’m not happy about this plan, and I encourage other students and alumni who feel the same way to let the foundation know by calling 785-775-2008.

Nathan King is a senior in mass communications and is the assistant advertising manager for Collegian Media Group. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and the persons interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.