The College Station City Council is considering adopting a Restricted Occupancy Overlay. Also called a ROO, this potential ordinance could allow neighborhoods to vote on restricting how many unrelated people can live in a home together.

College Station and Bryan, Texas are both home to Texas A&M University, the largest university in Texas. Some students live on campus, but many live off campus and their housing options and costs are impacted by decisions made by the city councils of these two cities. When housing options are limited, these students compete with the low-income population for good housing. Local regulations, such as this ROO, can impact local housing costs, so Think Brazos will continue to follow and update you on this potential ordinance.

Key Takeaways

  • This ordinance could spread out the students and force them to bid up prices of the local housing stock.

  • Sharing a home by the bedroom is a basic way to save money and afford decent shelter and it’s not just students who do this, but young professionals and low-income families as well.

  • This ordinance could leave the City of College Station open to litigation because it regulates “who gets to use” rather than how a property is used.


A piece of legislation enacted by a municipal authority

In this video and podcast episode, Habitat staff Charles and Whitney Coats ask policy experts Emily Hamilton, Salim Furth, and Nolan Gray from the Mercatus Center about the potential consequences of this kind of regulation for residents in College Station. This interview is part of a longer interview where we discussed housing policies that could help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus (and future viruses).

If you would like more background information on the Restricted Occupancy Overlay, please listen to our podcast interviews with College Station city council opponents Elizabeth Cunha and Joe Guerra—they disagreed on this issue and explain why in these episodes.

Subscribe to the podcast for more conversations about how we keep a growing community affordable for everyone—Texas A&M students, Aggie graduates, employees, and fans!

Watch the highlights – 3 minutes

Listen to the full conversation via podcast – 10 minutes

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