Skip to main content
Featured Project

Savannah State University – Student Housing

Designated Historically Black College and University (HBCU)

High quality housing helps reverse declining enrollment

Read Details

Enrollment was declining at Savannah State University (SSU), and outdated student housing was a major driver.

The solution for outdated student housing was to build new housing facilities – housing that students wanted to live in.

But without the resources to fund such a project, the university was stuck with its aging dormitories. Attendance, in turn, would continue to decline.

Determined to shift the university’s fortunes, SSU’s President contacted TUFF to address the housing situation.

For this Historically Black College and University (HBCU), a lack of quality living facilities was more than just an inconvenience. It was inhibiting the institution from attracting new students and expanding education.

TUFF understood the urgency of SSU’s housing problem. More importantly, TUFF had the resources – and the development expertise – to take action.

Using $21.5 million in tax-exempt bonds, TUFF invested in new student housing at SSU. Thanks to TUFF’s 501(c)(3) operating structure and education-driven mission, they could provide the funds at below-market rates and design a lease structure that worked to the university’s advantage.

New housing brought a modern flair to the SSU campus. It also encouraged prospective students to enroll.

A 660-bed development consisting of 10 buildings, University Village includes 4-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 1-bedroom, apartment-style living quarters. Furnished, of course. A community center, social lounge, study area, and computer lab help complete the facility, giving students the space they need to study and socialize.

TUFF’s investment increased the quality of life at SSU. It gave students a reason to live on campus.

SSU student enrollment also reversed course from its alarming decline. It increased. And the university attributes the escalation in attendance in large part to the development of University Village.

Six years after its construction, the SSU Foundation purchased University Village from TUFF at a contractually agreed-upon price.

Facility Specifications

  • 10 buildings on 13.9 acres
  • 660 beds
  • 3 apartment-style floor plans
  • Community center
  • Social lounge
  • Study area
  • Landscaped courtyards
  • On-site laundry facility