We hear a lot of stereotypes about people who share housing. It’s often assumed that only students would want to live that way, and that students are necessarily bad neighbors, and undeserving of affordable housing. But we know that isn’t true — there are thousands of people in Boulder working service jobs, or doing child care, or trying the change the world for the better in our thriving non-profit scene, who need affordable housing to be able to live here, and avoid a costly, time consuming, polluting commute.
It’s also often assumed if you’re violating the occupancy limits, but you’re a “good neighbor” who never gets prosecuted, there are no negative impacts. But too many of us have had to move on short notice due to a threat from a neighbor or landlord, been forced to pay a cash “supplement” to the rent listed on our leases, or felt the chilling effects of trying to engage with someone in a neighborhood meeting or political process, knowing they have the power, potentially, to take your home away.
We want to combat these preconceptions, and so we’ve built a little application to put a face on over occupied living, and break these stereotypes. If you’re living over occupied in Boulder now, or have in the past, please share your story and a photo of yourself, and help us humanize the issue: