The New York State Dormitory Authority, continuing its push to branch out into new financing areas, is exploring alternative housing projects for university students in New York City.

The authority used the results of a survey of universities in New York City to find out what their needs were for student housing, said Thomas A. Devane, deputy executive director of planning and financial analysis for the dormitory authority.

Based on the data, the authority has focused on ideas about housing for graduate students and whether to buy or construct a building and then lease or sell condominiums to more than one school for their students. While the authority has a history of serving as the financing conduit for dormitory construction for higher education institutions, it has not been involved in a leasing or condominium program approach to student housing.

The novel approach to housing for students stemmed from the troubles many of the private and public universities in the city are having in finding or financing the construction of housing for their graduate students, he said. "The survey was just small step. We are not very far down the road," he said.

One housing proposal calls for constructing a building that has 100 to 150 rooms and the universities would just "take pieces of it rather than the whole thing," Mr. Devane said. Instead of one university financing and building a dormitory, it would probably be more economically feasible for more than one university to rent or purchase condominiums in a building for their students, he noted.

The authority already has a record of taking on new and innovative financings for housing projects. While it has had the legal authority to sell bonds for retirement homes for healthy residents, it has only recently been selling bonds to fund these projects, Mr. Devane said.

The authority has done deals in Rochester, Yankers, and Binghamton, and is working on three more proposed retirement center bond sales, he added.

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