Annual Report of the Housing Policy Committee, 2010-2011

The Housing Policy Committee met monthly during the academic year to address the following issues:

  1. Budget Report from Columbia University Facilities.  The Housing Policy Committee reviewed the annual budget report from Columbia University Facilities for FY12.  The proposed FY12 rental increase of 3% for faculty, students, and other affiliates appears reasonable given the information we have been provided.  We want to express our appreciation to Columbia University Facilities for expediting preparation of the FY12 budget.   This is the first time in several years that the Committee has received the budget report early enough that we were able to provide input in advance of the fiscal year in which the budget was implemented.
  1. Towards a Housing Strategy for Columbia University.  The Housing Policy Committee continued discussion on a framework document for a Housing Strategy for Columbia University.  In the past, housing policy discussions, such as our FY 12 budget review, have focused exclusively on University housing stock.  But fewer than half of eligible faculty lives in this housing.  As the University grows, it is unlikely that building and buying more apartments will be a sustainable solution.  In the long run, the University will be best served by policies that facilitate a menu of faculty housing choices, including private market and University-owned options.
  1. Collaboration with Budget Committee.  The Housing Policy Committee continued its collaboration with the Budget Committee on the review of the housing budget structure.  The committees are examining the question of how the housing stock can continue to finance itself through rents and debt without structural contributions from other sources within the University. This issue has not yet been resolved and work between the committees is ongoing.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Housing Policy Committee,

Michael Heller, Chair
Law, Tenured
April 29, 2010