The Minnesota Student Association recently voted to take a stand against a Minneapolis occupancy ordinance that prohibits more than three unrelated people to live in a single-family residence. This ordinance negatively affects many neighborhoods near the University, which have a high proportion of students. MSA is moving in the right direction and University students should follow suit by getting involved with the issue.
The zoning regulation is a huge problem for student-filled neighborhoods. More often than not, many more than three unrelated people occupy a house. With housing around campus already limited, itâÄôs unreasonable to enforce the ordinance in neighborhoods predominantly occupied by students.
The regulation results in many landlords and students breaking the law. Landlords often rent to several unrelated students in large houses, knowingly ignoring the ordinance. Students are rarely aware of the law or that theyâÄôre breaking it. 40 percent of houses near campus were over-occupied in 2010, according to a Minnesota Daily survey.
MSA has taken the right stance on the topic, as has Ward 2 City Councilman Cam Gordon. Gordon represents several neighborhoods around the University, where most students live. Gordon wants to get rid of the distinction between related and unrelated occupants in the ordinance. While this would help resolve the issue for student housing areas, the City Council is reluctant to change the ordinance, which is aimed at keeping students out of University neighborhoods.
This ordinance is bad for students, so they should support MSA and Gordon in the fight to change it.