A student-run counseling service established in 1968, the Ann Arbor Tenants Union says it will end its student services due to lack of funding from the Michigan Student Assembly.

The AATU provides services for students and non-University Ann Arbor residents experiencing housing trouble.

The AATU has been operating on $20,000 received last year from MSA. But AATU says MSA has refused to negotiate a new tenant service contract and it no longer has the funds to serve students after this year.

Previously, MSA has given between 5 and 10 percent of its budget to the AATU – funding which the AATU heavily relies on.

AATU Executive Director and LSA senior Amy Ament said the group has met every condition required to receive the funding.

“We have submitted monthly reports on our services, but MSA has even refused to meet with us to negotiate a new contract,” Ament said.

Newly-elected MSA General Counsel Jason Mironov said MSA will conduct a cost benefit analysis of the AATU and make an informed decision in the fall on whether to fund the non-profit organization.

“We have had many complaints from students that the AATU is an ineffective service,” Mironov said. “Because we are giving such a big proportion of our budget to the AATU, it’s important that the money is used effectively.”

Mironov added that Student Legal Services, an administrative department, can handle students’ problems with housing.

Located at the William Monroe Trotter House on Washtenaw Avenue, Ament said the AATU informs students of their tenant rights when having difficulty with landlords.

LSA junior Jill Essenmacher said she used AATU this winter because her landlord was not responding to the heating problems in her house.

“I went to the AATU for help and they advised me to try one more time to contact my landlord. Once I mentioned that I was using the AATU in an email I sent to my landlord, my landlord quickly replyied and the next day fixed the heating problem,” Essenmacher said.

Mironov said MSA will be able to fund more student groups with the money it will save by not funding AATU.

But Essenmacher said Student Legal Services is not a good replacement for the AATU because it is too threatening for landlords.

“The AATU was more of a mediation service and helped you resolve problems in a non-legal way, and Student Legal Services might only give legal action,” Essenmacher said.

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