Landlords call for occupancy limit reform

A group of Evanston landlords and a local Realtors group say they believe the city should reform the ordinance that prohibits more than three unrelated persons from sharing an apartment.

The groups say the current policy increases student housing costs and pushes students to live further away from campus life. And they claim it unfairly impacts young working adults, non-traditional families and senior citizens.

Here are excerpts from the statement by the Evanston Property Owners Association and the North Shore – Barrington Association of Realtors:

We applaud the Northwestern University student body for raising the proftle of this very important housing issue.

It is quite evident that this policy is unintentionally increasing student housing costs and pushing students further away from campus life. Beyond the consequences felt by the collective student body, this policy unjustly impacts other current and prospective residents, including young working adults, non-traditional families, and senior citizens.

Additionally, the policy decreases property values and disincentivizes investment in the community by eroding property rights and criminalizing the highest and best use of properties.

We are pleased that University and City officials are listening to the concerns raised by the student body; we also recognize the complaints of non-student residents living near campus. It is clear that further dialogue and reform regarding this policy is greatly needed, and the EPOA and NSBAR call for a robust and thoughtful discussion inclusionary of all perspectives.

Reform efforts are not geared toward allowing individuals to reside in unreasonably small or dangerous living spaces, and any attempts to falsely portray this issue as such will be rebuked. Both the EPOA and NSBAR, as always, are ready and excited to positively contribute to this discussion as it proceeds. We strongly suggest a diverse working group be formed in a timely manner to substantively review the current policy and propose any amendments deemed necessary.

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