UH students' move-in at Haven at Elgin delayed as work still ongoing at off-campus apartment

ByAlex Bozarjian KTRK logo
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Hundreds of UH students enter 2nd week without permanent housing
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This isn't the start of the school year that University of Houston students had in mind. Eyewitness News looks into what's keeping hundreds of students from their room and board.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Hundreds of students at the University of Houston are going into their second week of classes without a permanent place to live.

They expected to be moved into the Haven at Elgin by Aug. 19, but the date was pushed back to the Aug. 31, according to future residents.

To be clear, this is an off-campus housing and unaffiliated with UH.

Officials with the university said a handful of students have utilized their emergency on-campus housing and some rooms are still available.

The Haven at Elgin still has scaffolding and protective fencing around it. Construction crews have been using power tools and operating heavy machinery during business hours.

They are currently running the leasing office out of a trailer, but the property manager assured ABC13 that Thursday is still the planned move-in day.

Dominique Jordan expected to be unpacked and not have to pack during her second week of sophomore year. Her mom said they signed a lease with the Haven at Elgin last semester.

"Two days before move-in, they sent out an email basically saying it would not happen and that it would be pushed back approximately two weeks to August the 31st," Angelina Gordon, Jordan's mother said.

The email states the delay was due to "circumstances out of their control."

The Haven at Elgin offered two alternatives. You could either arrange your own short-term housing and get two months of rent credited to your account, or you could arrange your own short-term housing and get $500 a week until you're able to move in.

"Money, as of today, has kind of run out for us, and we are having to find other housing options, which is going to have to be a friend," Gordon said.

Jordan was staying at the Hilton, the only hotel on the UH campus.

Gordon lives in Galveston and has been traveling back and forth to check on the building's progress. She said she's even questioned construction workers.

"'Do you feel as a contractor working here that this place will be ready for move in on Aug. 31?' And their answer was, 'No,'" Gordon said.

In a statement to ABC13, management said, in part:

"Ownership believes the building is ready to be occupied. The project has been cleared to install unit furniture and is awaiting occupancy approval. Haven at Elgin continues to work collaboratively with the city on any remaining open items needed in order to facilitate move in. The remaining exterior work observed is not required to be completed for the property to take occupancy."

For now, Jordan is stuck in limbo.

"I was expecting a good semester since I was online last semester. I wanted a fresh start, something new, and I was excited, but that has all changed," Jordan said.

ABC13 reached out to the Houston Public Works Department to confirm whether Haven at Elgin has passed the necessary inspections in order for people to be safely moved in on Thursday.

Eyewitness News is still waiting to hear back.