Bridging the Gap: Boulder’s Housing Conflict
Every year, the end of summer brings a sudden influx of highly energetic young people. As students return to school, traffic becomes more of a snarl than it already is, what little affordable housing there might be is snatched up, and the lines at the local coffee shops become insufferable. The student population has a dramatic and undeniable impact on Boulder’s infrastructure. For those who call Boulder their permanent home, having their neighborhoods infested by hordes of carousing night owls can be a nuisance. Raising a family next to a frat house is a recognizably undesirable endeavor. Being a frat house next to unwelcoming and grouchy neighbors is also less than ideal. This mutual bitterness has created a rift in the Boulder community, one that most citizens are more than familiar with.
Boulder is a gem, a secluded bubble of trees, farmers markets, and hiking trails, and, of course, a lot of granola (think all types). It is also home to an astronomically high cost of living. For those who love Boulder for its whimsical vibes, educated population, and natural beauty, this price can make the difference between being a part of the community and existing on the fringe. It is a cost which many college students and greater Boulder residents find unsustainable. As both a starving student and a native Boulderite, taking a side on this issue leaves me feeling uncomfortable at best. Regardless of your position on this conflict, it is important to realize that there isn’t a simple solution. This problem is not new, nor is it anywhere near over but an open and respectful dialogue is the best way to ensure that Boulder remains its inclusive and quirky self. Until we can achieve such a dialogue, we all have front row seats to the clash between Boulder’s citizens and the students which descend, locust-like, upon Boulder each fall.
Pro-tip: Locusts hate condescension. Homeowners hate piles of empty PBR cans on their front lawns. Do what you will with this information.