Housing policies affect off-campus students
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 13:03
As summer nears, some students have more than midterms on the mind: They are thinking of warm-weather plans. This can mean more than thoughts of a day at the lake or vacations: It can also include plans for finding a place to live for the summer and into next year.
Students move off-campus for various reasons, but some students are met with surprises as they start the hunt for off campus housing.
Hailey Donley, a freshman studying pre-physical therapy, had trouble when making plans for next year. She and four other friends wanted to find house where they could move in together.
Their plans were set aside when Donley her friends learned of a policy which prohibits more than three people from living together if they are not related.
Like Donley, some students find themselves in a similar situation when they decide to move off campus.
“I wouldn’t want to live in a place that was basically like the dorms again,” said Lyndsay Dorris, a sophomore studying pre-dental. “I would want to move in with friends.”
In addition to the relationship issue, Donley had another problem: Several of her future roommates were male.
“Having guys and girls together and it being in Utah is also kind of a struggle,” Donley said.
Brandon Binggeli, a sophomore majoring in business, said he had a similar problem when he moved to Utah.
“I wanted to move in with a good friend from high school who was a girl,” Binggeli said. “Everywhere we went, they kind of didn’t like that we weren’t married.”
“I think religion influences a lot of things in Logan, including what is acceptable housing situations,” Dorris said.
The 2009 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing report by the City of Logan was created to assess whether or not there was housing discrimination within the city. The report stated the most common complaint from renters was they received questions regarding religious affiliation and family status asked by the landlord during informal interviews.
“One guy flat out told us that legally he could not stop us from renting but that he didn’t like it and to try somewhere else,” Binggeli said. “I was very surprised.”
Donley, a native of Lawrence, Kan., said the rules and regulations in her home town are very different.
“You would think that students living together would be a pretty normal thing, even in Logan,” she said.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development states under Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings and in other housing-related transactions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability is prohibited.
“I think it is all a bit ridiculous,” Binggeli said. “I understand that there is a certain culture, but still.”
For some students, this culture continues to be a problem and making plans can become difficult.
“I’m not looking forward to trying to find a place to live here in a year or so,” Dorris said. “I feel like I might have to make some compromises in order to find a place.”
Binggelli said they eventually found a landlord who was willing to work with them and rented there.
“I know a lot of people who live together despite the policies,” Dorris said. “I haven’t met someone who has been caught yet.”