Student upset over losing housing due to U+2 violation

Megan Fischer

The notice was posted on the apartment door and the inspector was set to come the following week.

Three of the residents could stay, and the others needed to find elsewhere to live within a certain amount of time, or they would face cumulative fines per person each day.

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If more than three in a living space are found, fines may occur and city action will be taken. Some are trying to change the ordinance, but for mow there are no more than three unrelated people allowed in a living space. (Photo By Megan Fischer)
If more than three in a living space are found, fines may occur and city action will be taken. Some are trying to change the ordinance, but for mow there are no more than three unrelated people allowed in a living space. (Photo Illustration by Megan Fischer)

Residents may face a similar problem in Fort Collins when looking for housing. Even with new apartment complexes and housing projects, housing still may be hard to come by for students who live with more than three people in a space.

Rachel Brown, a senior studying foreign languages, literature and cultures, was evicted from her residence in March after violating the U+2 ordinance.

“Probably about a month after we moved in, we got a letter in the mail from the City of Fort Collins,” Brown said. “It said that we had been reported and it had every single person’s name on the letter. There were probably six or seven names in the letter, including the people whom had previously lived there.”

Brown said the household was given a set date to minimize the roommate count to three people before each person was fined $500 to $1,000 per day, per person living there. According to Brown, the letter that her and her roommates received claimed there was evidence that multiple people were living there, but the evidence was never released.

“That information was never given to us; we assumed it was from our license plates,” Brown said. “The letter also claimed that there was photo evidence of all of us living there, which was weird, but we never saw any of that.”

One of Brown’s roommates, Lahni Carney, a senior studying communications,  said the household was caught by means that were unnecessary and scary.

“I wasn’t sure how they knew or figured out that we had more people living in the house,” Carney said. “I’m just wondering how they found all that out without watching us all the time. I thought it was a huge invasion of privacy.”

Brown commented on what should be done about the ordinance in Fort Collins.

“It would be ideal just to have the law completely taken away, but even if they were to just add one more person, that would be super helpful,” Brown said. “I just hope that by the time future CSU students get here, this law won’t be here anymore because it’s just a pain to deal with.”

Carny said that if the ordinance were revamped to be four or five people in a house, or if it were altered based on how many rooms were in a house, it would make more sense.

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“It feels like you can’t just help out your friends when they need it,” Carney said. “I don’t think this is fair to students.”

Brown also said that it was stressful to be in that situation, especially with school going on at the same time.

“On top of the stresses of school and everything going on in the middle of the semester, it was just difficult to find a place and then move,” Brown said. “I was planning on couch surfing for a while, but thankfully something worked out.”

Collegian Reporter Megan Fischer can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @MegFischer04.