Moving here from 500 miles away, I have been a client in the local housing market for 7 years renting from 5 landlords. Coming back to Houghton for graduate school the first concern on my mind was where I would find quality housing, having had past experiences with poorly maintained housing and unprofessional treatment. When the idea of a new development near campus with a newly proposed density for one and two bedroom apartments arose, I attended the council meeting in anticipation. There were local market share holders who choose to spend their own time protesting the idea, hiring lawyers, and voicing their personal feelings and opinions on their market share and in turn complained about the time it took them to do so.
But the proposal brought forth to the council was not to address whether this development would hinder or help a few local landlords or the competition it will bring.
In my opinion, competition will drive everyone to provide better quality service for clients (commonsense business tactics being practiced for hundreds of years) and if those in attendance spent as much time developing their business practice as they did preparing their arguments for that meeting, vacancy would not be an issue for them and they could be integral pieces of the future demand.
My interpretation of the proposal was that there was finally a good idea to bring quality student housing in an arrangement that would be favorable for graduate students from outside the area attending the university, thus attracting more students to the area and benefiting the whole economy of all local businesses.
Developments will have to be built to house the anticipated increase in enrollment of students and whether those developments are built now by local developers who employ local families, or they are built after the future planned density revision in the city master plan possibly attracting outside developers, it sounds like zoning requirements will have to be changed regardless. In the past seven years I have seen great developments and renovations happen and have anxiously shown visiting alumni the improvements to this town.
I hope someday the next generation of students can do the same and can be as proud of the local community as I am.
What quality of options would you like to have available for your children as they move halfway across the country or even halfway across the world?