The search for an apartment during quarantine

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Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

Some future and current EWU students are unsure where to live next year due to uncertainty caused by COVID.

By Emily Driskel, Reporter

The pandemic has caused many unexpected changes to occur, including how students are searching for housing. Everyone has been affected by the development of COVID-19, making safety a priority for individuals.

As spring quarter goes by, students have been making accomodations for living situations next year. With the stay-at-home order still in effect, social distance practicing has caused some adjustments when applying for apartments. 

Before quarantine, freshman Marcus DeGroot had an easier process when looking for an apartment.

“I had mine all set in December and was able to tour then in person,” said DeGroot. 

But he still had challenges during the process.

“The hardest part [of the process] has been communication with the apartments and also my roommates as well,” DeGroot said. 

Currently, Michelle Schultz, EWU Assistant Director of Apartments and Facilities Operations, said that housing is an essential business and landlords are still looking to fill their open spaces. 

“Some off-campus complexes are still offering tours,” Schultz said. “Others are not and are only allowing for site unseen rental.” 

She mentioned that some apartment complexes start signing leases in late January or early February for July move-ins. 

“Many of the rental processes are being moved online: steps like applying and signing a lease,” said Schultz. 

The Grove apartments began a digital approach on March 19, according to their website. 

“Our office will be closed for all incoming tours and property visits until further notice, but we will be available to help make your very important housing decision via Facetime, Skype, call, chat and email,” said the website. 

Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner
Rock Springs Apartments are located on the corner of Al Ogden Way and Betz Rd in Cheney.

Eagle Point’s leasing office also went virtual, according to their website. 

“We are temporarily ceasing in-person tours with prospective residents,” the website said. “Call us today for more information!”

Schultz said that although some landlords already had online processes, social distancing means it takes more effort on the student’s part to get their questions answered.  

“I think the biggest challenge for all landlords right now is dealing with the uncertainty that COVID-19 has caused,” Schultz said. 

Kaylene Purcell, a junior in her first year at EWU, has been looking at apartments in Cheney. 

“Some places have been very helpful but there have been a lot of places that have their offices closed, so they won’t answer the phone,” said Purcell.

Purcell said it has been hard to get all the information she wants. 

“It’s also been a fine line of applying to get my spot or waiting until things open up, since some places are filling up while others haven’t really started,” Purcell said. 

Purcell has looked into Rock Springs apartments, on-campus housing, Eagle Point and a few other places.

“The biggest challenge is just getting ahold of the places I’m interested in and making sure I don’t shut any doors at the places I am applying right now, so that I at least have a back up plan,” said Purcell. 

Schultz believes that everyone is doing the best they can to deal with the changes, new information, safety guidelines and direction given by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. 

“EWU’s goal for our students is ‘maximum flexibility’ and our goal in Housing is to be as flexible as possible for the students who choose to live with us,” Schultz said.