Students argue for abolishment of BYU-approved housing
from the hovels-we-call-homes dept.
Would we benefit if BYU's approved housing policy was abolished? These four guys think that we would, though I'm sure there are more where they came from. Their main argument is that by artificially limiting the amount of available student housing, BYU is actually forcing us to live in worse conditions than we otherwise would, not better, and they've got a point.
Artificially limiting the supply creates less competition among landlords, and this trend will only increase as the new two-mile radius rule goes into effect in a few years. For whatever reason, it's evident that Landlords find it more cost effective to provide run-down housing than the decent housing students deserve.
But instead of completely junking the current system, I'd like to see a major change in BYU's approach to it's housing approval process. What if instead of forcing students into substandard apartments the system actually forced apartments to higher standards? Wasn't that ... the original intent of BYU-approved housing anyway?
What if BYU actually required landlords to maintain nice facilities? You know, like without 20-year-old carpet, chronically running toilets, and heaters that never turn off but yet never heat either.
But how would they police the complexes? It's simple. Create a hotline so that students can report their complex for violating the approved housing requirements. Complexes could be put on some sort of probation if they had legitimate complaints by more than 10% of their units in a year. If it happened again the next year the complex would lose BYU approval for the next 3 years. Complaints could be verified by people from BYU's housing office.
BYU could also start publishing statistics about the number of complaints per occupied housing unit for each complex. This would give students a better feel for what complexes to move to. Complexes with few complaints could start charging higher rent due to their increasing popularity while complexes with lots of complaints would have to drop their prices to attract tenants.
Of course publishing the statistics would only have an impact if there was a surplus of housing relatively close to campus, so students aren't forced into poorly maintained complexes simply because there is no where else to live.
If a system like this was set up, do you think your complex would start taking maintenance seriously?