News housing

New House to become Tier 1 dorm

Doubles will increase in price from $4,390 to $4,710

After months of renovation, New House is the first non-dining dorm to be part of the Tier 1 category, the most expensive housing option, starting fall 2018. The decision was officially announced March 2, after Division of Student Life officials met with the New House heads of house, area director, and student government.

In an interview with The Tech, David Friedrich, senior director of housing operations and renewal, said this decision was part of MIT’s capital renewal plan, which examines “how our facilities [are] meeting the needs of our communities today.”

According to a March 2 email sent by New House president Emily Tang ’19 to residents, the price for a single will increase from $4,970 to $5,325, and a double from $4,390 to $4,710.

Some residents are dissatisfied with New House becoming more expensive. In an email to The Tech, Dou Dou ’18 of iHouse wrote, "If Housing wants us to pay Tier 1 pricing, then give us a Tier 1 dorm. Look at the other Tier 1 dorms right now. New House is nowhere near a Tier 1 dorm even after reconstruction, both in terms of facilities and aesthetics. The bottom line is — students shouldn't be paying more than it actually is."

Friedrich encouraged students to reach out to resources such as the Student Financial Services to talk about their situation on a case-by-case basis. He said, “We don’t want barriers for students to be able to choose where they want to live and the communities they want to live with on this campus.”

To ease the transition of New House to a Tier 1 dorm, Tang wrote that New House will work with CASE and S3 so “everyone in the house feels comfortable seeking financial support and talking about it openly.”

Built in 1975, New House underwent renovations in 2015, and again starting June 2017. Houses 1 and 2 are currently open and are occupied by Chocolate City, iHouse, German House, and French House. La Casa and the numbered houses are displaced throughout campus and Boston. The rest of the building is expected to reopen by the start of the 2018-2019 academic year.

According to Friedrich, the design of the new space was guided by the Architectural Principles Document written by students, faculty, and staff under Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson in 2016, and conversations with specific communities within New House. Renovations have included installing elevators and restructuring the building to be accessible.

Similar renovations are planned to take place at other dormitories across campus, Friedrich said, in order to “bring the conditions of the buildings to a more equal level across the campus.”