It’s not often that I quote myself in posts, but for this one, it seems appropriate- I wrote this back in January. I dedicated to F.B.- who didn’t make it out of the hospital, R.I.P. You are missed. Here is the excerpt:
Rooming houses, the regulated and inspected type, aren’t that much different from hotels that rent by the week or month, they just don’t have corporate branding attached. We find no problem with an “extended stay hotel”- but a rooming house is considered one step above a drug den.
Maybe as a strategy to bringing people back to Dayton and spark urban revitalization, we need to look at bringing back the rooming house as an accepted form of residential housing. Tough times, require some new looks at old ideas.
And here is another reason: Sinclair is having record enrollment. I heard 30K plus. And, not a single bit of “on campus” housing. Forcing students to drive- making parking a pain. Using lots of fossil fuels.
Aren’t these the potential young hipsters that upDayton wants to keep? Hmmm.
Now, let’s talk about UD. Remember the place they call “the ghetto”- well, drive through and it doesn’t look anything like a ghetto anymore. In fact, it looks like a really nice urban neighborhood with lots of young people walking the streets. But, it wasn’t always so.
The secret, is UD bought all the houses from a Ghetto lord who was making a lot of money. You see, renting a house by the month, or even the semester is only OK. You might get $600-$800 month in rent. Call a semester three months and you are at $1,800 to $2,400. But, divide it up and rent per person- and you ask $500 per semester- cram 2 people per room- in a three bedroom house- and you now have $9000 in rent. Ka-Ching!
Now, if you are just Ghetto lord, that’s bad. But if you are UD- it’s good.
And maybe, we should consider having Sinclair adopt a neighborhood and fill it full of students? Start with Five Oaks and Dayton View. Run shuttles back and forth. Fix up those big old homes and rent them out like hotels.
What- you say Sinclair shouldn’t be in the housing business? How right you are. Let’s let the private sector do it. WSU is having dorms built left and right by private business. How do we get this to happen? Take some of those boarded up homes and vacant lots and package them. Give a tax abatement equal to the dollars invested in the rehab. Maybe even offer students a tuition break for living in these rehabbed houses and helping repopulate the neighborhood- and getting involved in civic service in the neighborhoods.
Could we start seeing a decrease in boarded up vacant homes? Do you have a better idea?