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CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE : Reaction Mixed to Utilities Charge

March 13, 1993|EMILY VIGLIELMO

Reaction on campus was mixed to the Cal State Northridge announcement that it will lower rents for on-campus housing, but for the first time charge for utilities.

"People are pessimistic about it-- that it's really not a lowering of fees," said April Nelson, resident director of the Park II housing complex.

"My perception is that, with reasonable usage of utilities, the rent will still be less than this year's fees," Nelson said.

The vacancy rate at the on-campus housing facilities stands at 49%, with almost 1,200 students living in units built for 2,400 students, said S. Roger Frichette, CSUN's director of housing services.

"We'd like to have as many as we can," Frichette said. "We've had informal meetings and there is generally a positive feeling that rates have been lowered."

The total reduction of rental fees would be $540 annually for a double room, from $3,650 this year to $3,110 next year. The yearly savings for a single room would be $140.

At the same, the payments will be stretched out an extra month, to May, allowing a further reduction in monthly rent, to $295 for double rooms.

In addition, any current residents who sign up now for housing next year will receive a $50 coupon off their last rental payment in May, 1994.

The new utility charges are "primarily for conservation," Frichette said. "People are not concerned about something if they don't have to pay for it."

All of the units are already equipped with meters to monitor water usage and one unit has natural gas meters, according to Frichette.

At least one student said the new fee and utility rates would make little impact on his feelings about university housing.

"I plan to return. It hasn't changed my mind," said Joseph Phillips, a psychology/child development student.

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