The Element apartment complex's displaced student residents were finally given more information about their leases Thursday night, but they still won't be able to move in for more than a month.
The latest information in an ongoing saga of Stuho's incomplete housing project, sent to residents in an email, included a new October 24 completion date as well as an option for residents to opt out of the leases. If they choose to opt out, they will be released from their leases on October 31.
"Getting out of our lease doesn't help," said senior Connor McGlynn, who has been temporarily living in the Da Vinci apartment complex downtown. "We have nowhere to go."
Students who had signed leases initially expected to move into their respective apartments before the academic year at USC began, but were told in an email on July 14 that the project's construction had been delayed and the complex would not be ready to accept tenants until mid to late September.
In an email sent to residents, Stuho said that the exterior scaffolding would be removed in the next one to two weeks. But the construction update also noted that the Penthouse units, the gym and the retail areas wouldn't be completed until November 17.
"Stuho has been really disrespectful to us," said Sydney Walker, another resident who had signed a lease for Element. "Now I'm free. Now I get to find a lease anywhere else but a Stuho property."
Other Element residents balked at the lack of reparations offered to them in the wake of their displacement.
"The update didn't say Stuho would be providing any discounted rent rate, though most of the amenities we paid to have will not be available," said McGlynn. "What they're doing isn't bad just because we're students; it would be bad for anyone."
Element residents who want to opt out of their leases have until September 29 at 5 p.m. to file their paperwork.