A few months back, we reported a few times about a new roommate ordinance that targeted students who live in off-campus apartments in Boston. The city, with around a quarter of its residency comprised of university students, witnesses some of the bitterest fights amongst residents, students and college officials over apartments for rent.
The Boston city council had hoped to placate residents in neighborhoods who complained about drunk and disorderly college students invading their neighborhoods. Families and residents near colleges, which is a lot of places in Boston, see college students as temporary residents who have no long term stake in their locales and depress home values and detract from the overall neighborhood environment.
Students typically look for a large house to fit a group of friends and share costs. However, these rental houses are prime locations for parties and have thusly become civic pinatas for distressed neighbors.
The city council responded by enacting the roommate cap, which unabashedly targeted college students looking for off-campus apartments in Boston. The measure hoped to diffuse the student population in certain highly concentrated neighborhoods.
However, the cap makes renting an off-campus apartment in Boston difficult for students. Without the ability to split rooms and share costs, most students cannot afford Boston apartments.
This factor, coupled with trends that other Massachusetts universities in Amherst and Dartmouth are dealing with should make the first month of classes an interesting time for students as well as Housing offices and Residential Education personnel.
From a story in the Boston.com, the mounting expenses of renting off-campus are driving students back on campuses across the state. UMASS Dartmouth has been “shocked” at the number of applicants for on campus housing they have received, many from students who had previously lived off campus, an unusual occurrence.
The primary factors, according to a letter from UMASS Amherst housing officials, has been the increase in utilities and commuting costs, that have prompted students to take advantage of on campus housing, where they don’t have to foot the bill for energy costs for cars or apartments.
What are college students planning on doing this fall? How are you planning on saving cash and get an ideal living situation? Is it a better deal to live off-campus? Has it been until this year?
Let us know in the comments! We’d like to hear back from college students about their decisions.