Students key in debate about rental properties

Print More

By Alethia Kasben
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

Students at Michigan State University make themselves well known in the East Lansing community — for good reasons and bad.

David Fox, president of the Havard/Cowley Neighborhood Association, opposed his neighbor Kevin Schoen getting a rental license at the Housing Commission meeting, which took place Jan. 20.

Schoen, of 1410 W. Saginaw applied for a rental license to allow two unrelated persons to rent his four bedroom home. Schoen said at the meeting that the price that he plans to put on the rental would not be welcoming of students, who may want to cram as many as four people in the home.

Map of Harvard/Cowley neighborhood, with Schoen's unit on Saginaw marked.

Fox said that it would be a step back for a more stabilized neighborhood and that his experiences with students renting homes in his neighborhood were not pleasant.

Marie McKenna, Assistant City Manager for East Lansing and the liaison for the Community Relations Coalition and the University Student Commission said there is no reason for a neighborhood to exclude students or anyone else for that matter.

“I feel that all neighborhoods in East Lansing would be great places for students to live,” she said. “It just depends on their personal preferences, the availability of rentals and finances, too.”

Annette Irwin, Administrator for Code Enforcement and Neighborhood Conservation said that sometimes there are concerns about students renting homes and sometimes there are not.

Irwin said that most rentals in neighborhoods far from campus are occupied by graduate students and undergraduates would rather live closer to campus.

“We hold the public hearings and the neighbors are informed,” she said. “It really depends on the experiences of that neighborhood if they will oppose or not.”

Irwin said that there isn’t one neighborhood that students shouldn’t live in.

Students can live in harmony with their neighbors, even if they are in a more residential neighborhood, she said.

“It’s a matter of establishing relationships with neighbors so you can talk about things like noise and litter,” she said. “When these relationships exist students become more invested in being a positive part of the community.”

McKenna said that students are a huge part of the community and that she wants students to stay in the community after they graduate.

“Students bring great energy, diversity and talent,” she said. “Students undoubtedly have a tremendous impact on the local economy but it’s the freshness of ideas, their youth and positive vibe that really makes them such an asset.”

Irwin agrees that students are an important part of the East Lansing community.

“Students are a never-aging part of the community,” she said. “There are a lot of people in East Lansing who enjoy the sports, theatre and talent that the students of MSU provide.”

Kara Leslie lives at 212 Milford and is a junior at MSU. She said that students could live in residential neighborhoods without causing too much trouble.

“It all depends on the environment,” she said. “There will be a lot of loud parties if they rented a house near Grand River Avenue and all of the sororities and fraternities. But if a student was renting a house in a little neighborhood away from campus, I think they would be respectful of the families that lived there.”

Comments are closed.