Statement from Finance Chairwoman Helen Anthony (Ward 2) Regarding the College Student Occupancy Ordinance

May 3, 2023

May 3, 2023



Chelsea DeCesare, Press Secretary

Providence, RI – “I thank all the community members who participated in the public hearing process. At the heart of this issue is a concern many of us share: wealthy developers have been purchasing multi-family homes near colleges and universities, converting them to dormitory-like housing, reducing available housing for families, and disrupting our neighborhoods. Residents have seen ongoing problems with noise, trash, loud parties, and parking problems. Developers have faced fines for various violations, but make so much profit that they just pay them and continue to operate. For those reasons, I introduced this student occupancy ordinance.

After listening to community feedback, we realized the ordinance was too broad, so I significantly narrowed the focus to close the loophole on non-conforming homes in R1 and R1A zones only and to only include undergraduate students.

This ordinance was not anti-housing, but the opposite. We must strive to be a city where families can thrive and preserve housing for our residents. We need to encourage colleges and universities to do their share to house their students and not encourage our limited housing stock to be converted into profit centers for neglectful developers.”

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