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UMKC helps students find new housing after problems shutter on-campus apartments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hundreds of UMKC students remain in limbo about where they'll be living this fall.  Earlier this year, the university was forced to shut down Oak Place Apartments on-campus, which housed up to 500 students.

Julius Carpenter is anxious to start his junior year at UMKC.  Last year, he enjoyed the convenience of living on-campus at Oak Place Apartments.  But in January, he and dozens of other students were kicked out of the building.

"First indication I had was when I received an email from them saying there was a water main break and all the students had to be displaced," Carpenter said.

The water issues were so bad, mold had spread through the building.

"It's shocking.  It kind of leaves me dumbfounded because I didn't know with such new accommodations they could have those kinds of issues," said Carpenter.

The University of Missouri Curators are now suing 14 developers tied to the project's construction.  The lawsuit alleges they "failed to properly construct and design the building" and "order or direct the correction of defective work".

While attorneys and insurance companies sort out the problems and how to fix them moving forward, Julius is moving on.

UMKC's helping many students get set up with an off-campus apartment complex near 30th and Main at the same cost of on-campus housing.  Thankfully, tuition covers a city bus pass he'll need to get back and forth.

"UMKC has been doing a very good job of being able to handle the situation, even providing stipends for students who may not be able to pay for their schooling and what not so I think they've been doing an excellent job or providing for the needs of the students," said Carpenter.

While it's a hassle to move around, and lose the ease of walking to class, he's glad to be safe.

UMKC says it's working to shift students affected by the Oak Place closure to other on-campus housing, and has also found an extra 100 beds off-campus.

The college says it's working to identify multiple options to provide good housing for those affected and hopes to make an announcement about those plans soon.

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