MUNCIE, Ind.- Ball State University recently announced a new off-campus housing initiative for students.

This comes after complaints from students last year about off-campus housing living conditions. Some students said they encountered off-campus housing which was dirty, in disrepair, and not cleaned at all, despite paying hefting cleaning fees. 

Now, the university is taking steps to make sure off-campus housing is clean, safe, and well-maintained for students. 

“I am pretty excited,” said McCarty Elliott, an incoming sophomore at Ball State University. “I’m glad to be in my own space, and it actually seems cleaner than the dorms at this point.”

The university recently launched a new Off-Campus Quality Housing Initiative to make sure students do not face problems like they did last year.

”I think that the transition between high school and college is so significant that if you are also stressed about where you are living and if it’s clean and safe it adds so much added stress,” said Ary Ryals, an incoming sophomore at Ball State University.

The new initiative focuses on connecting students with high-quality landlords and property management companies near the university to find the best living options. 

To participate in this program, landlords must meet a series of requirements before being accepted. To see a full list of those requirements, click here.

“The document has 12 different agreements. It includes that [the space] is going to be delivered clean and well-kept… Properties are going to be in compliance with health and housing codes… It goes all the way down to talking about the expectation not just from Ball State but even from the state of giving 24 hour notice when someone is going to enter the premises,” said T.J. Brecciaroli, the Dean of Students and Associate VP for Student Affairs.

And if landlords are not meeting these requirements, here is what happens:

“We do have the right to remove someone if we get a pattern of behavior and learn from students what they agreed to isn’t happening,” Brecciaroli said. “That is something we don’t want to remove someone for but we absolutely reserve that right.”

Students said the importance of clean and safe living spaces is one of the keys to their success going forward at the university.

“It’s hard to start off in a dirty place and go to school and then have to come back and deal with your dirty place. It’s better to come back, feel safe, be able to do what you want to do, hang out with friends and not have to worry about an already dirty and unsafe space,” Elliott said.

Some students have already moved into their off-campus housing apartments and homes and many others will be moving in soon.

Classes begin at Ball State University on Monday, Aug. 21. 

For more information on the new initiative, click here.