Scrounging Through the Junk Drawer

When UW-Whitewater’s enrollment was expanding, and so student housing was in demand, some residents opposed to more rental properties rushed to local government in a futile effort to hold back the student tide, through zoning or code enforcement.

Now that there’s a worry that student enrollment is declining, and rental properties are less in demand, some residents are rushing to local government to do something – anything, anything at all – to reconvert former rental properties back single-family homes.

Honest to goodness, expecting local government to direct effectively the housing trends of the area is like rushing to a kitchen junk drawer for the tools to dig a ditch or build a tower. 

Indeed, to repeat a point made here before: “Imagine what it would take to produce even a 50-50 distribution of owner-occupied homes in Whitewater: to equal the number of rental units Whitewater has now, she would have to add 1,758 owner-occupied units – more than the entire stock of existing owner-occupied units.” (Emphasis in original.)

See Owner-Occupied Housing in the Whitewater Area and Two Truths of Whitewater’s Economy.

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