Rental Housing Program

Allocation of College Rental Housing

The College owns a number of rental housing units in which many members of the faculty and administrative staff reside. The College makes these units available to assist faculty and administrative staff in finding accommodations in Williamstown, but makes no guarantee to provide rental housing to all who are eligible. The remainder of this section explains priorities, eligibility, and related procedures governing the use of College-owned rental housing.

To establish the order of selection, all faculty and administrative staff who have expressed an interest in College rental housing are divided into two groups, and a priority list is established within each group based on a point system. The two groups and the point system are described below.

Group 1

Group 1 is assigned rental housing first and consists of all assistant professors, associate professors in their first three years in rank, visiting faculty, and administrative staff members in their first three years with the exception of those who are already living in the Williamstown area when hired. Also excluded are faculty who own or have owned a house, while employed by the college, in a town eligible for the college’s mortgage program.

Administrative staff are eligible to live in College rental housing for three years from the date of hire.  Administrative staff whose date of hire falls between September 1 and May 31 may remain in rental housing until the June 15 that comes first after their 3rd anniversary.

Group 2

Group 2 consists of members of the faculty and administrative staff who would not normally be considered eligible for rental housing, including those whose eligibility has expired, those who have had a College mortgage, or those who lived in the Williamstown area at the time of appointment.

Administrative staff in Group 2 do not ordinarily reside in College rental housing for more than one year. During the spring of each year, houses and apartments of Group 2 renters will be included on lists of available units shown to people in Group 1. If a Group 1 person decides that he or she would like to rent a house or apartment occupied by a person in Group 2, the Group 2 occupant will be notified and will have to vacate by June 15. Between June 15 and July 30, if a Group 1 person decides that he or she would like to rent a house or apartment occupied by a person in Group 2, the Group 2 occupant will be notified and will have thirty days to vacate the rental unit. If by August 1st no one in Group 1 wishes to rent the house or apartment, the Group 2 occupant can stay in it until the following June 15. The procedure outlined above will be repeated annually.

Point System

Points are determined by faculty rank or staff classification, service, and space need. Faculty and administrative staff may pool their points if they wish to occupy a single housing unit. Employees with split faculty and administrative staff appointments will be assigned points as faculty if the larger fraction of their total appointment is faculty, and as administrative staff if the larger fraction is administrative staff. Part-time faculty and administrative staff receive points pro-rated on the basis of their fraction of full-time service.

Specific point allocations for administrative staff are as follows:

Staff Classification (job group): Points:
1a, 1b, 2a 50
1c, 2b 30
2c 15
2d 10
all others 5
part-time administrators prorated
years in classification at Williams 5 per year
years in another position at Williams 2 per year
Space Need:
first dependent (child or parent),
or known pregnancy/adoption
each dependent thereafter 5

The Service category allows for distinctions within the same classification. The Space Need category establishes a criterion that is different in kind from that of rank or service. As larger families often need more living space than smaller ones, the addition of points for a faculty or staff member who has children or dependent parents attempts to guarantee that large families have enough room. (It is to be remembered, however, that larger apartments and houses will normally have a higher rent.) It should be noted that points can be accumulated in this category only for children or dependent parents who reside with the administrative staff member for at least six months each year or for children at boarding school or college, who reside in College rental housing during school or college vacations.


The Housing Office assigns eligible administrative staff to College rental housing using the following process. In March of each year, the Housing Office will send a letter to all incoming administrative staff indicating that the college will begin to assign College rental housing. At the same time the Provost’s Office will send a similar letter to all current administrative staff eligible to enter rental housing and a letter to those already assigned to College rental housing who may like to make a move within the existing stock of units. Those who are interested in entering or moving within College housing are asked to notify the Housing Office by early April.

Those leaving or moving within College rental housing must vacate their unit by June 30. The date of occupancy for new tenants is largely determined by required maintenance.

On rare occasions, individuals may be asked to move from a College-owned rental unit before they would choose to do so, for the convenience of the college and its programs. In these cases the college will attempt to minimize the disruption and expense of relocation.

Rents of all College housing units are adjusted on July 1st of each year to reflect the fair market value in the Williamstown area.

Lead Paint

The College is in the process of de-leading its rental housing stock. Because the de-leading process is disruptive, renters with children under six or who anticipate starting a family in the next year may want to take advantage of the annual lottery to select a unit that is already lead-free.

Subletting of College Rental Housing

Renters of College rental housing who are eligible for leave, for either the entire year or one semester, and who wish to sublet, have several options. They may sublet on their own to (a) housing-eligible Williams faculty or administrative staff (no students); (b) non-housing-eligible faculty or administrative staff with Housing Office approval; or (c) persons not employed by the college with Housing Office approval. In regular faculty housing, summer sublets to persons in the latter two categories (b and c) are not ordinarily approved, so that the housing unit  will remain available to housing eligible faculty and staff. In housing occupied by commuting  faculty, such sublets may be allowed, after consultation with the Real Estate Office.

If renters attempt to sublet on their own, and a sub-lessee is not found, they bear the burden of paying rent while away. Alternatively renters may ask the college to find a sub-lessee, with the college bearing the rent burden if no sub-lessee can be found. Renters may not, however, hold the college responsible for the rent unless they have informed the Housing Office of their intention to have the college handle the sublet by April 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester.

For summer sublets, renters should notify the Housing Office of the name of the sub-lessee. Sometimes the hours kept and the noise made by summer sub-lessees in multi-family units have created problems for the full-time residents. Renters are asked to be sensitive to this issue. Should difficulties arise the college reserves the right to take whatever action is appropriate to correct the situation.

Faculty or administrative staff on terminal contracts who sublet an apartment from a renter who does not return to College rental housing are expected to vacate that unit by June 15, as are those in Group 2, as outlined above. All others who sublet an apartment from a renter who does not return to College rental housing may remain in that unit only until June 30th of that year and have no prior claim to the unit in the future. These individuals must enter the college rental housing assignment process in the spring like all other faculty and administrative staff.

When renters sublet on their own, they remain responsible to the college for any damage to a housing unit beyond normal wear and tear. Any liability for damages by the sub-lessee must therefore be settled between the sub-lessee and the primary renter. It is suggested that the renter require a deposit from the sub-lessee to cover possible damage to personal property, with the deposit to be returned upon satisfactory inspection. When renters ask the college to find a sub-lessee, any liability for damages to the housing unit by the sub-lessee will be settled between the sub-lessee and the college. The College will not, however, assume liability for damages to personal property left in the housing unit by the primary renter.

The College of necessity reserves the right to enter its properties without the tenant’s permission in case of emergency.