Nov 132005

The motivation for enacting the "occupancy limits" aka "three-unrelated laws" is primarily economic. As I said in my last opinion piece, the price of housing in Fort Collins is far more than necessary due to artificially high demand. As the occupancy limits are to be more strenuously enforced, residents living in illegal situations will be forced to take up the surplus of housing that was produced several years ago but remains unoccupied.

Many may say this is good, that utilizing formerly unoccupied housing improves everyone's standard of living. But think: should renters be punished for the irrationally exuberant overproduction of homes in Fort Collins? The problem of a housing surplus was the fault of the owners and investors. Enacting a city ordinance and justifying it after the fact by claiming that it solves the problems of supply and demand is simple ad hoc ergo proctor hoc. The justification came after the ordinances. The problem should lie not with the renters and occupiers of these homes who pay higher prices, but with the investors whose investments failed. What I mean is that the risk investors were taking on new construction of homes is theirs to bear alone.

I believe the push for these unfair laws is being pursued not only by the bitter neighbors of college students and low-income individuals, but also by those who seek gains from increased real estate prices: landlords and multiple-property owners.

Ross Knippenberg


economics and mathematics

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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