With an expected off-campus housing crunch on the way, University Properties is taking steps to ensure graduate students will have places to hang their hats.

200 York St., a major graduate student apartment house, will undergo renovations during the 2001-2002 school year, eliminating 22 rooms for off-campus housing which graduate students typically hold. University Properties, which owns the El Dorado Building at 1145 Chapel St., will clear out business tenants occupying more space than needed to give students the 22 rooms they would otherwise lose.

“The policy isn’t meant to create a hardship, it’s meant to provide spaces for students who, if we don’t provide spaces, are going to be forced further away from campus,” said John Maturo, director of University Properties.

Maturo said that ideally, residential occupants of buildings owned by Yale have a University affiliation, whether they be students, employees, professors or retirees. Maturo added that University Properties determined lease extensions to its tenants on an individual basis, and lack of a Yale affiliation did not guarantee that leases would not be extended.

“We’ve done an audit of the properties and found all those tenants who are not Yale-affiliated,” Maturo said. “We’ve gone case by case, and there are several tenants that we’ve found who have been long-term residents, particularly on Chapel Street, and we’ve said to them, ‘We will extend your lease,’ because it makes sense. They’re good citizens and it would be a hardship.”

The occupancy of the El Dorado is currently split evenly between graduate students and commercial tenants, but next year it will be almost 100 percent students, Maturo said.

“We’re not really getting any strong protest,” he added.

University Properties has made efforts to improve the safety conditions of the building, specifically in regards to fire prevention and control.

An attractive feature of the El Dorado is that it give art and architecture students convenient access to their places of study.

The number of undergraduates seeking off-campus housing is consistent with that of recent years, Maturo said, with much more pressure on graduate student housing. University Properties held a room draw to regulate off-campus housing.

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