Application Process for Faculty, Staff and Postdoc Housing

In order to receive housing from the University, Faculty, Staff and Postdocs must do the following: 

  1. Apply for housing. 
  2. Be approved for housing by Columbia Residential 
  3. Satisfy all eligibility criteria. See Eligibility

You may track the progress of your application in the Housing Portal. 

Keep in mind that applicants may submit up to two applications per semester; subsequent applications will not be considered. 

Please note that a housing application is only valid for the semester for which it was originally submitted. Applicants who do not receive housing or decide to defer their university appointment start date to a different semester must submit a new housing application. 

Once logged into the Housing Portal, you may submit your application or request changes, as needed. Eligible Faculty, Staff and Postdocs may complete the following steps to create a Housing Portal account and apply for housing: 

  1. Accept the school's appointment/employment offer  
  2. Activate your Columbia UNIfor incoming Faculty, Staff and Postdocs contact your Human Resources departmental administrator (DA) for UNI access or to get interim eligibility via a departmental data feed called Delegated Identity Administration (DIA). After your DA has entered your information, you will be able to activate your UNI.
  3. Log into the Housing Portal and create an account with UNI. If you already have an account, please log in with your UNI. 
  4. Review Accommodations.  
  5. Submit the housing application 
  6. If approved for housing, participate in housing selection. See Housing Selection and Assignments. 
  7. After participating in housing selection, Faculty, Staff and Postdocs may select up to two housing offers, which they can accept or decline. (IMPORTANT: A security deposit payment equivalent to a month’s rent submitted by credit or debit card is required to accept the offer.) 

For Tenured Faculty: Eligible tenured faculty must submit their initial request with their department. 

For Postdocs, approval is determined by their sponsoring school/department. Each school/department is allocated a specific number of spaces each year. The housing liaison of the school or program can provide information on their housing approval process. 

For non-tenured faculty and other eligible staff, approval is determined by inventory availability. In general priority for housing is given to full-time Officers of Instruction on tenure track, especially those moving to New York from outside the Tri-State area.   

For Tenured faculty, approval for housing is based on Columbia University’s Faculty Housing Policy as established by the Provost’s Office as well as overall housing availability. 

Faculty, eligible staff and postdocs approved for housing may self-select an apartment that best fits their needs. This process may begin as early as one month prior to their intended move-in. Housing is not assigned on the basis of “insider” knowledge that a unit may become available. 

All approved applicants will be invited to participate in a housing selection round, during which they may review a list of available units (including address, apartment number, square footage, rent and building amenities) and rank two choices. Faculty, eligible staff and postdocs whose application status is Single or Couple may choose from studio and one-bedroom units, and Families with Children may choose from one-, two- and three-bedroom units (three-bedroom units reserved for faculty only).  

For more information about housing selection, please review FAQ | Faculty, Staff & Postdoc Housing Selection

Faculty, eligible staff and postdocs approved for housing can select up to two housing offers, viewable in the Housing Portal. To accept an offer, a security deposit (equivalent to one month's rent) must be paid before the offer expires. The security deposit will be returned upon vacancy according to the terms of the lease.  

If the assigned units are vacant and not under construction, Faculty, eligible staff and postdocs may view the unit by making a viewing appointment in the Housing Portal. Faculty, eligible staff may log in and click Housing Assignment to schedule a viewing appointment with the superintendent. Appointments are available Monday-Friday between 9 AM - 3 PM. Kindly note, same-day appointments cannot be accommodated. 

Please see a photo gallery of a sampling of available housing on the Accommodations page. We are not able to provide photos of all units. Also note that while it is unlikely that it will occur, the University reserves the right to change assignments at any time prior to the execution of the rental agreement. 

Accepting an Offer 
  1. Accept an offer
    Pay the security deposit and schedule move in appointment. 
  2. Sign the Housing Agreement
    The housing agreement will be sent by email 10 days prior to move in date through DocuSign. Agreement start/appointment date changes cannot be accommodated within 10 days of move-in. Appointment changes must be requested at least 14 days prior to the scheduled move-in date. For more information, please review Housing Agreements & Renewals
  3. Pick up keys and move in 
    Please review Moving In for more information. 
Declining a Housing Offer   

If a Faculty, eligible staff and postdoc declines their offers – or does not make the required payment before the expiration date indicated in the offer – the offers will be voided and the unit will be added back to housing selection. If, at a later date, a Faculty, eligible staff and postdoc wants University housing, they must reapply. 

For more information about housing selection and housing offers, please review FAQ | Faculty, Staff & Postdoc Housing Selection.