U+2 and its effect on you

Olivia Jordan

Living in Fort Collins is such a privilege.  We live at the base of the majestic Rocky Mountains, have the quaint Old Town shopping district never far and have the opportunity to walk our beautiful campus whenever our hearts desire.  But among all of the pros that we seem to be surrounded by living in this town, some find the U+2 law, a law limiting non-family household to three inhabitants, to be considered a minor con.

Digging deeper, I was able to find that this law was enacted in the 1960s by the City of Fort Collins.  They decided to enforce this law on the premise of safety.  The city was concerned for the health of the residents if they were to live with more than three, non-blood related roommates; the law is a different story when it comes to families living together, though.  The law has the primary purpose of protecting from over-occupancy, in which living conditions start to decline the more people there are confined to one space.

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So how does this law affect you?  From a students perspective, I can see how this law would be just another hurdle to overcome in the apartment or house hunt.  When it comes to living in a house, often times students are inclined to wanting to live with more people because of a lower rent payment.  And who doesn’t want lower rent?  It allows for more money for other necessities such a groceries, school expenses or “leisure money.”  But the City of Fort Collins says packing into houses like sardines is a big no-no.  In an article published by the Coloradoan, a particular discussion of the effects of U+2 law on locals.  In this case, and in many cases alike, the overreaching policy can be a harsh measure for low income families and local college students.

ASCSU has been know for lobbying against the U+2 law, fighting for the students of CSU who have been affected by this law in a negative way.  They argue that even if the law was changed to a “U+3” sort of law, that could make a world of difference.  There are a handful of four bedroom homes in Fort Collins that are rented out to students for housing, but tenants are only permitted to fill the house with three unrelated people under the law.  This leaves the residents living in the house responsible for paying a rent that would be more just if there were four people living there.  Some believe that it would be more reasonable for the law to be modified so that at least the rooms in the house are filled.

The fight to have this law changed for students is evident.  Places such as the new student housing, Aspen Heights, although permitted, has proved filling houses to their capacity does not always pose a problem.  In the eyes of students, the U+2 law seems to be another obstacle to overcome, but as the law stands, the possibility of change is in the hands of those it affects most.