The Western Front Editorial Board was also busy on the subject of illegal rooming houses. Their editorial entitled Western Housing Crisis Hits the Streets, hit the WWU "newstands" on October 6th. You can read the editorial in its entirety by clicking here.
Here is my response to their editorial which I found long on opnion and short on facts.
Unfortunately, any crisis in housing of students is one of poor planning and neglect on the part of WWU and the City of
Students may want to ask the university administration the reason for which so much time, effort and money are being spent to gain a foothold at the waterfront while student housing takes a place down the priority list. Instead, the university is complicit in an atmosphere of neglect which dumps students into a rental market which is not controlled, while asking the residents of our neighborhoods to absorb thousands of students in an unplanned and unregulated infill. The city, for its part, neglects to enforce its own zoning codes. Single family, live-in homeowners are now complaining about this infill and, perversely, are being labeled the “bad guys” because they want the law enforced.
As for the legality of the ordinance, the Editorial Board may want to back up its assertions with some facts. Ordinances such as we have in
Nonetheless, the Editorial Board states, “Not to mention, this ordinance is illegal. According to an article in The Western Front from spring 2008, if the law doesn’t discriminate against everyone, it can’t discriminate against anyone.” To be honest, I have no idea what this statement means. Furthermore, I caution the board about citing as a basis for argument an assertion made in its own newspaper by an uninformed writer.
The board also states that “
As for the effect of thousands of students on the rental economy, the Editorial Board is correct. There is a distortion of the market that takes place when groups of individuals can pool their money to afford a rental which is out of the reach of a single family. This summer, a family was essentially forced out of a rental on my street when the landlord raised the rent to $2,200 per month, an amount unaffordable by the couple and their son. Inevitably, five students rented the home at $440 each.
Finally, the board states, “Students need to do their parts to be respectful of their property and neighbors. Students living in houses need to recognize their neighbors could be permanent