Aspen Heights leaves more than 500 students homeless

Troubled housing complex fails to complete all homes on schedule

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Around 9:30 p.m., Aspen Heights management had to inform another approximately 70 future residents that they would not be moving in, which was supposed to be Wednesday.

According to the new student-housing complex, the reason for this extra delay was ongoing construction at the site. Even though some homes might be complete, others around them are not. The construction could be considered a safety risk for residents.

Even though 75 percent of the neighborhood is under construction, about 300 students were able to move in at their scheduled time Wednesday.

However, that still leaves more than 500 having to change their plans.

Approximately 200 students will be at offsite locations, such as hotels and nearby apartment complexes, while others have pushed back their move-in date to Aug. 17.

However, there is still one section of the neighborhood that could take more than a month to complete.

"There is a small section that could go past the start of school, so we've arranged options for more of a longer term stay for those individuals," said Stuart Watkins, public relations director for Aspen Heights. "This is our responsibility to take care of our residents. They should not have to carry that burden."

Watkins would not say how much this delay is costing Aspen Heights, but in addition to the hotel stays, the company is giving gifts of $400 to $600. The students can use the money however they would like, or use it towards their rent.

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