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Enrollment increase creates housing issue at UCF

On campus housing only accommodates about 7,000 students.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – In a four-year span the University of Central Florida has seen enrollment grow by close to 8,000 students. 

According to Mark Schlueb with UCF, student enrollment for fall of 2014 was 60,821. In fall of 2018 that number grew to 68,558.

Their on campus housing accommodates about 7,000 students.

Erin Stipulkoski is one of them. She was fortunate to move into a dorm as an incoming freshman, but her brother wasn't so lucky. 

"As a freshman, you're basically guaranteed housing, but after that for upperclassman you have to put your name into a lottery because there's just not enough housing on campus for students," Stipulkoski said. 

Her brother is looking at rentals off campus for the 2020 fall semester. 

Schlueb said university staff receive close to 9,000 applications for housing each year.

Nineteen privately owned student geared housing complexes are available about a mile from campus.

Landmark Properties is pushing to make that 20. 

"With our football team getting better and our basketball team with more popularity, more kids are going to want to come so they probably do need more housing and they're probably going to grow in size anyway," said James Jackson, a UCF freshman. 

The Georgia based company is looking at the current Burlington Coat Factory along East Colonial Drive for their development. 

They are requesting 11.6 acres of the property be rezoned to accommodate the project. 
    
If approved, the complex would create 162 units with 650 beds for students. 
    
Discussion about the project moved out of the Orange County Development Review committee Wednesday.

The proposal will go before the planning and zoning commission April 18 and a vote by commissioners  May 21 for final approval. 

A request for comment in regards to the future of the current Burlington Coat Factory was not returned by Landmark Properties or Burlington Coat Factory.