Couple and Family Housing

The Couple & Family Certification process has been updated as of June 2021. Please review the updated policy and process information below.

Upon signing their housing agreement, students and postdocs who are eligible for couple and family housing must agree to the Columbia Residential terms and conditions. After move-in, residents must certify their couple or family status once each academic year. Please read below for the terms and conditions of couple & family housing and the process of certification. 

Please note, Columbia Residential is unable to provide housing to accommodate friends or relatives other than in very limited number to partners and/or dependent children. If both partners are affiliates and are eligible for housing, only one application will be considered, and one offer given (if approved). 

  • Only the partner listed in the original housing application may move into and reside in the unit. 
  • Residents' partner and/or dependent child(ren) must live full-time in the unit immediately upon signing the agreement and receiving keys. 
  • Partner and/or dependent child(ren) have no independent right of occupancy and must vacate upon termination of the housing agreement or their relationship to the resident, whichever occurs first. 
  • Residents must notify Columbia Residential immediately of any change in couple or family status and agree to be reassigned or vacate should their status change. Failure to report this change in status could result in a housing reassignment, immediate termination of the housing agreement and/or other administrative penalties. Residents agree to furnish any further documentation that Columbia Residential may require regarding their status. 
  • Any false or misleading statements made by residents regarding couple or family status may result in the termination of the housing agreement. 

Prior to move-in or upon renewing the housing agreement, residents must sign the Housing Compliance form included in the housing agreement, agreeing to the terms of couple & family housing listed above.  

After move-in, residents will be contacted to schedule certification according to the following general timeline: 

  • Summer: new or transfer residents who moved in late spring, and current residents renewing their housing agreement for the next academic year 
  • Fall: new or transfer residents who moved in summer through early fall 
  • Spring: new or transfer residents who moved in late fall through early spring 

NOTE: Certification will happen after move-in; certification prior to move-in is no longer required. 

The following is required and must be presented during the certification appointment: 

  • Partner and/or children must be present at time of the certification appointment and in the same location as the resident. If the partner and/or children are not present, certification cannot be completed.  
  • Photo ID for each resident. 
  • Birth certificate for each dependent child (families only).  
  • Families with dependent children 18 and over must show proof that each child is a legal dependent. A legal dependent is defined as a child under the age of 19 (or under 24 if enrolled as a full-time student). 

All couples & families in housing will receive an email from Columbia Residential to schedule certification.

Once the email is received, residents must schedule their certification meeting within 60 days, using the booking link included in the email. 

Appointments are 20 minutes in length and are available on weekdays between 9 AM – 4 PM (excluding holidays). All available appointments will be listed in the booking calendar. 

Certification meetings are held virtually with a Columbia Residential staff member, through Microsoft Teams. Once the appointment is booked, residents will receive a confirmation email with the link to the virtual meeting. 

Appointments may be rescheduled directly by the resident using the booking link included in the confirmation email. Please note, appointments must be rescheduled at least 24 hours in advance. 

Appointments must be scheduled and completed within the required 60-day timeline. Residents who do not complete certification within the required timeline are considered out of compliance with the terms of the housing agreement and will be reported to Student Conduct & Community Standards for failure to comply with Columbia Residential policies. Residents with extenuating circumstances must contact [email protected] within 2 business days of receiving the email to discuss options and next steps. 

At the time of the certification appointment, residents and their partner and/or children must be together in the same location. All required documentation should be available and ready to be presented to staff during the appointment. 

Residents must use the Microsoft Teams meeting link to join the certification appointment as scheduled. After completing the appointment, if all documentation is confirmed, residents will receive an email confirming that certification has been successfully completed for the academic year. 

Residents may apply to transfer into couple housing through the Transfer Process. Availability is limited and transfers are not guaranteed. If approved to transfer into couple or family housing, residents will be required to complete couple and family housing certification as described above.