Each year in January, the Office of Student Life hosts a Housing Fair with the goal of bringing together area landlords and students seeking rental propertymany who will be living on their own for the first time.

Its a very low-pressure environment,said Joanna Grubb, Student Life official.Students have a relaxed atmosphere where they can meet the landlords and see whats available.

This years fair will be from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. The January Housing Fair is the main activity of WVU Housing Month, the time when many students are firming up their living arrangements for the summer and upcoming school year.

Grubb said about 35 area landlords will attend the annual event, giving students a good cross-section look at what kind of houses and apartmentsand in what price range and locationare available.

There will also be representatives from WVU offices who can help students make informed choices. WVU s student attorney can answer studentsquestions involving apartment maintenance and even look over leases.

Students go to a landlord, pick up a copy of the lease and then bring it over to Student Legal Services,Grubb said.

Students who are unable to make it to the fair arent left out in the cold. Any student with questions regarding off campus housing can contact the Student Life offices any time by calling 293-5611.

With the WVU and Citys recent recommendations stemming from a Housing Task Force, this years fair takes on even more significance, say organizers.

WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. said the Housing Fair is an integral part of Operation Jump-Start, the Universitys program to help students make the transition from home to college life.

West Virginia University is a student-centered institution and has an obligation to help students, both in and out of the classroom,Hardesty said.The Housing Fair is just one of the many ways the University assists students during one of the most critical stages in their developmentlife as a young adult living away from home.