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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Staff Editorial: Stop lying about housing prices

Everyone at GW seems to understand that housing prices are ridiculous, except, of course, some members of the administration.

Once again, the University has increased housing prices and justified the costs as commensurate with fair-market housing prices in Foggy Bottom. Referring to housing costs, Executive Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz said “it’s supply and demand.”

University administrators are wrong on both accounts.

GW on-campus housing is not part of supply and demand, since freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus, meaning that the demand for housing is artificially manufactured. Since many upperclassmen do not spend their summers in D.C., they are also subject to forced demand since they can’t sign 12-month leases required by most apartment buildings in the area.

As far as fair-market pricing, this claim is almost impossible to justify. Even some of the most expensive residence halls on campus are more expensive per month than comparable apartments. The cost of living in an apartment in which each student has his or her own bedroom is almost always equal or cheaper than prices for upperclassman dorms where students must share bedrooms.

Though the price is exorbitant, there is no denying that GW has some of the best housing and amenities for its students. In a perfect world, the University would be in the financial position to provide such great housing at reasonable prices, either equal to or less than the cost of off-campus living. Immense construction costs and a relatively small endowment prevent this from happening.

Since housing prices are not decreasing in the foreseeable future, it would behoove the administration to at least admit that housing costs are not based on fair-market value, then look for long-term solutions to mitigate concerns about them.

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