The Collegian just posted a article about a very little known by-law in Amherst. Apparently, by law, it is illegal for more than 4 unrelated people to share a place of residence. And apparently the town is cracking down on this law that apparently landlords and realitors are fully aware of, although their tenants are in the dark about this usually unenforced law.
As someone who just signed on to a house with 4 other girls, this makes me worried. I don’t feel like being evicted or asked to leave my nice new condo any time soon thank you. Rent is outrageous if you want to live anywhere near campus ( I’m paying $460 a month plus utilities for a shared room). It’s sometimes impossible to find decent housing you can afford without like 9 other people signing on with you. It’s a stupid law that shouldn’t be enforced.
What also makes me worried is that it is often neighbors who bring this to the towns attention through complaints. Like honestly, if you really have a problem with a bunch of college kids being your neighbors, why did you move to Amherst, particularly right near the university, where thousands of kids move off campus every year if you don’t want to live near them. That was their choice and we as students trying to save some money by squishing ourselves like sardines into a house, thats our choice.
The other part of the article that really got me mad was the reasoning behind the creation and enforcement of the law. According to Town Manager Laurence Shaffer ” the issue comes down to public health and aesthetics. Shaffer said crammed quarters often create nontraditional bedroom situations that can become dangerous in emergency situations. A high population of student cars, he said, creates an aesthetic issue in lots that cannot support them.”
“Aesthetics”? “Nontraditional bedroom situations”? “Danger”? Like honestly, WTF are you talking bout Mr. Town Manager?!
Here’s he comment I posted on the story-
ABSOLUTELY FUCKING OUTRAGEOUS, Am I right?!?