Is There To Much Student Housing and Could It Hurt Tuscaloosa?
I'm fairly new to Tuscaloosa, but I've seen so much housing being developed in or around the University of Alabama and it's starting to bother me. I live off University Blvd, about 300 yards from the Shell gas station on the strip. Everyday i see student walk up and down that street heading to classes, leaving classes or heading to the bars. I understand that UA has about 40,000 students and 2,000 in facility. But do you think its appropriate to constantly putting up condos and apartments left and right? Every week I see a new complex getting put up, every week I see demolition of land to make new space for students. These places are not cheap, the average 1 bed room, 1 bath in a two mile radius of campus is about $950 per/month. Some peoples mortgage are not even that high.
The city needs the university, but do we need housing that will one day increase the living cost in our city? In my personal opinion, if we keep on putting these "luxury" homes here in town, true locals one day won't be able to pay their rent now, Tuscaloosa could become one gentrified college city like what happen to Ann Arbor, Lincoln, Palo Alto and so many more cities.
In a article done by Insightintodiversity.com, they state scientific facts that some universities cause gentrification.
When a university moves into a neighborhood, the relationship between the institution and the community should be mutually beneficial. However, the bond can become unrequited when higher education institutions invest in the community without regard to existing residents.
New businesses, youthful energy, cool eateries, and modern grocery stores in disinvested neighborhoods might not seem problematic and are often packaged as a facelift for the area. However, development can equate to a recipe for gentrification — a charged word that has been a debate topic on college campuses for decades.
A 2018 report by real estate listing service RENTCafé shows that when private universities expand into urban areas, gentrification often results, and longtime, low-income residents are often displaced.
If you love Tuscaloosa, we have to stop this.