Lack of affordable family housing in Brazos County affecting public school enrollment
The leaders of Bryan and College Station schools made a big announcement Wednesday morning. The lack of affordable family housing is effecting their enrollment.
Enrollment at Texas A&M University and Blinn College are both on the rise. Thousands of college students are moving to town looking for a place to live, forcing families to compete for affordable housing.
"We tend to believe that we are missing some students that we might have otherwise had to due to low income housing or housing that has been taken over by students. So it's displacing families,” said Dr. Tim Rocka, Interim Superintendent of Bryan Independent School District.
Superintendents from both Bryan and College Station school districts said that enrollment was lower than expected, particularly for the lower grade levels.
"What we're finding, in both Bryan ISD and College Station ISD, is that properties that are close to the university, south Bryan and north College Station, are kind of defying the trends. There are becoming less rentals for young families and more rentals for college students,” said Dr. Clark Ealy, Superintendent of College Station Independent School District.
Debbie Eller, Director of Community Services for College Station says the city does not have the money to address this problem.
"But what we're looking at is partners in the availability of leveraging our dollars against other dollars that are out there, so that we can address these needs,” said Eller.
The city is hoping to continue working with private developers and non-profit organizations on projects geared toward more affordable housing for low-income families.
Both superintendents know the growth of Bryan/College Station impacts families coming to their districts.
"Everyone is always interested in growth, and student growth and construction and property value growth and those things know no boundaries. They affect both of us. And so he and i will continue to work towards a common meeting time and we will collaborate on these big issues that are community-wide issues,” said Rocka.