New occupancy limits in one big college town highlight students’ housing woes

For three years in college, Texas A&M University student Ethan Tan lived in houses near campus with six roommates, each of them paying about $400 a month in rent. Tan, a graduating senior, said that low cost saved him from having to take out more loans and pick up long work shifts, which would’ve barred him from participating in some of the leadership opportunities he took at school.

But starting in June, College Station will enforce an occupancy ordinance that prohibits more than four unrelated people from renting a single-family unit together — and students in housing arrangements such as Tan’s will be liable to fines similar to parking tickets.

While a version of the rule has already existed in the city for around a century, it had remained largely unenforced. The push for some kind of enforcement started about two years ago amid simmering tensions between A&M students living in single-family units near campus and homeowners in those neighborhoods.

Read more from The Texas Tribune.

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