Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. Letters to the Editor reflect the view of a member of the campus community and are submitted to the publication for approval.
As the elected leadership of the Associated Students of Colorado State University, we are charged with working on behalf of the interests of CSU’s student body. Rising college costs are a crisis impacting students across the country.
In Fort Collins, students face an additional obstacle in the form of limited housing options and elevated costs.
As many of you know, the U+2 housing ordinance prohibits more than three unrelated people living together under one roof. We are fighting back against these mounting costs by working to find an alternative to the City’s U+2 ordinance.
Rental costs in Fort Collins grew at a very similar rate to comparable metro areas before the implementation of the U+2 ordinance. However, since the adoption of the ordinance, housing costs have increased at a much faster rate. Research conducted by Corona Insights, working on behalf of the City of Fort Collins, showed that this increase is not due to an increase in housing demand unique to Fort Collins.
To make Fort Collins work for everyone, and bring rental prices down for all residents, we need to find an alternative for U+2.
The U+2 ordinance is making college even more unaffordable; it also negatively impacts non-students. Only 47% of violators are estimated to be college students, with 53% estimated to be non-students, according to Corona Insights. A majority of these violators, 63% of them, are working, and relatively few are disabled or receiving any type of public assistance. The money they are paying for rent is money that can’t be given back to local businesses here in Fort Collins.
As members of this great community, we are invested in the quality of the neighborhoods, which is why we participate in the Community Welcome walk at the beginning of the school year. The Community Welcome walk gives students an opportunity to meet long-term residents and create good relationships between students and members of the Fort Collins community.
Members of our organization and other organizations around campus also participate in Fall Clean Up and CSUnity, in which students clean up the yards of community members that are unable to do it themselves.
To make Fort Collins work for everyone, and bring rental prices down for all residents, we need to find an alternative for U+2. Some concerns about parking and noise levels have been expressed, which can be addressed without U+2 being in place.
Students are under the burden of too much college debt. We need a change, but so do all Fort Collins renters. Ahead of the municipal election, we asked all candidates about their position on U+2. Read the responses of our newly elected representatives here.
It is time to tackle the Fort Collins housing crisis and find a solution that works for all residents.
2018-2019 Student Body President,
The Collegian’s opinion desk can be reached at email@example.com. To submit a letter to the editor, please follow the guidelines found at collegian.com.