Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Relocation and Housing

Information regarding relocation can be found in new faculty offer letters. Questions regarding relocation for can be directed to Audrey Rosenblatt at 212-854-6108 or For housing information for senior faculty and post-docs, please contact Fred Palm at 212-854-8555 or For housing information for new junior faculty contact Jane Hunt at 212-854-9429 or


The following programs are available to assist Columbia faculty with housing.

  • Faculty Housing provides rental or lease apartments for eligible Faculty. 

  • The Provost's Faculty Housing Assistance Program provides funds to help eligible faculty purchase or rent an apartment or home in the area. Effective July 2014, a new housing policy will be in effect and a link to the new site will appear here. 

​​​​Housing Assistance Program Fact Sheets

> Income supplement At this time, A&S can only provide eligible faculty with access to the income supplement with a maximum of $40K per year for tenured faculty and $22K per year for non-tenured faculty. We expect the Provost to introduce a "Housing Mobility Program" later this year which will provide alternative options for faculty wishing to move out of Columbia housing.

  • The Housing Information and Referral Service provides individual consultations on renting or purchasing apartments and homes within commuting distance of Columbia University campuses.  The service is available to all faculty, including faculty being recruited to the University, and to all other Columbia University employees. 

  • The Affinity Lending Program may help the people of Columbia University finance the purchase of a home through arrangements with Bank of America and ICC.

  • Visitor Housing may be available on campus for parents, alumni, and guest affiliates of Columbia.


Reimbursement for the relocation expenses of newly recruited personnel is authorized at the departmental level. All reimbursements must comply with the University’s Travel and Business Expense Policies, and the newly hired employee should be informed of this prior to incurring expenses.  Relocation expense reimbursement may be processed on a Check Request form prior to the hire date.  Any expense reimbursements requested after the hire date should be on a Travel and Business Expense form.

Only qualified moving expense reimbursements are non-taxable to the employee. Non-taxable, “qualified”, moving expenses (as long as new location is at least 50 miles away from the old location per IRS regulations) include:

  • Packing of furniture and personal belongings.
  • Transportation (moving) of furniture and personal belongings from the previous principal place of residence to the new principal place of residence, which must be at least 50 miles apart.
  • Insurance and in-transit storage for periods of up to 30 days from the move date.
  • Travel and lodging costs, excluding meal costs, associated with one trip to move to the new residence by the employee and members of the employee’s household. 

Taxable moving expenses include:

  • Pre-move house hunting, including travel, meals and lodging once an offer has been accepted.
  • Meals and lodging while occupying temporary quarters.
  • In-transit storage charges beyond 30 days.
  • Personal needs such as a driver’s license and auto insurance.
  • Real estate fees incurred when leaving the former residence or acquiring the new residence.
  • Relocation allowance (unsupported by receipts)

Documentation Required

The original receipts/invoices must be provided and meet the requirements as documented in the Travel and Business Expense policies.  In general, the receipts should demonstrate:

  • the date
  • the item or service purchased
  • the total amount of the purchase
  • proof of payment
  • the recipient’s name, home address and Social Security number (if taxable) to be reported to Payroll for reporting on the employee’s annual Form W-2

Documentation of an agreement, signed by a Senior departmental officer, must be provided that authorizes the relocation allowance or moving expenses.  The employee should be aware of any tax implications.