Temple’s new student housing policy is sure to bring changes to its surrounding neighborhoods, which may affect those residents not affiliated with Temple.
In recent weeks, Temple sophomores and juniors have ventured into areas surrounding the University, in search of housing options. This increase in students renting near campus could have a dramatic long-term effect on nearby communities.
Evelyn Boyer has lived on Carlisle Street since the 1940s, and she has been disturbed by the increase in student neighbors on her block. With its close proximity to campus and the available rental properties, Carlisle Street is already a popular dwelling for students.
“Student residents are largely not responsible,” Boyer said. “They don’t treat their houses like their homes. They treat it like someplace to stay until they go home.”
Boyer added that the increase in student population in her community has brought more problems with trash control, late night noise and vandalism, which she attributed mostly to alcohol. She also said the changing nature of the student population makes it difficult to form a sense of community in the neighborhood.
“[The new housing policy] is the best news in the world for these absentee landlords around here,” Boyer said, noting the landlords’ upkeep of their properties was not sufficient. “The students have no choice but to pay higher rent.”
Boyer did not blame Temple for the problem, saying that the University has tried different measures in recent years to help the situation. She said the University has supplied students with curbside trashcans and increased police awareness on the street to discourage public drunkenness.
Other residents in the area share Boyer’s fears. There is a general concern that an increased demand for area rental properties will encourage laziness in property maintenance with higher rents.
The news of the new housing policy may have a different affect on some of the area’s landlords and property owners.
Sandra Zerbe is a property manager for Philadelphia Management Company, which owns the Kardon building. She has enjoyed the increase in student applicants.
“After that statement was made, there have been many students looking for housing near campus,” Zerbe said. “At this point, I have some units so I have been able to help them out.”
Zerbe said this would be the last term that Temple would have dorms in Kardon so there are more units available for rent. She also stated her opinion on the stability of renting in the area.
“I think we are comparable to what we were when we came in,” Zerbe said. “Not to say the rents won’t go up, they always go up some, but I think we will try to stay online with the rates of Temple housing and downtown rates.”
Philadelphia Management Co. has numerous properties in Center City. Zerbe said she would try to transfer students to other areas after Kardon is full.
Along with Kardon, the Atlantic building and University and Oxford Villages have also seen an increase in interested applicants. Kardon and University Village have designated the month of February to lease only to students who are currently living on campus.
Neighborhoods like Boyer’s block of Carlisle Street await the arrival of student residents. It is not yet known the level of impact this increase will have on the community and its residents.
Jason Boll can be reached at email@example.com