Letter to the editor: Housing monopoly


    Dear Editor,

    I am a married person, so I live in non-BYU-approved housing. I pay about $500 a month for rent and utilities. This sounds like a steep price to those of you living in BYU-approved single housing. Upon closer inspection, I am the one getting a decent (not great) deal. When I was single, I lived in the Riviera apartments (BYU approved). Rent was about $270 a month for a four-man apartment. In addition, I had to pay about $25 a month for utilities. All four of us paid that amount to live in a decent but severely run down apartment. That adds up to about $1,180 a month for rent on an average to below-average apartment. In contrast, my younger brother and his friends rent a house in southern California that is a walk from the beach for about $1,200 a month. The point I’m trying to make is that we as students are being ripped-off. This situation is created by the BYU-approved housing tag.

    Students are only allowed to live in BYU housing, severely limiting their options. There are just enough spaces in “approved” student housing to accommodate the number of students attending BYU. Because of this fact, BYU-approved landlords can charge whatever they want and raise rent at a whim. Some apartments make you pay summer rent to guarantee your spot, even if you are going home for the summer. I don’t believe for a second that they are not making obscene profits at our expense. They know our situation, and they are taking advantage of it. The BYU-approved housing tag has created a monopoly.

    This is disgraceful. It reflects poorly on the school, the church and especially the landlords. Someone at the Universe should do a muckraking piece on how housing is approved, who approves it and what the rules are. I know BYU-approved housing is supposed to put us in an environment that is governed by church standards, but bad kids are going to do bad things no matter where they live (example – the two students accused of selling drugs in the dorms). Most of us will keep the standards of BYU no matter where we live. We should have greater choice over where we live and what we have to pay during our time at BYU.

    I love my BYU experience and we are all lucky to even be here. We just need a better choice when it comes to housing.

    Steve Fulkerson


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