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The Privatization of College Housing: Poverty, Affordability, and the U.S. Public University


  • Thomas M. Laidley


Much of the research on housing policy over the past generation has focused on its relationship to affordability and the spatial demography of poverty. Here, I focus on a particular sector of the market that has largely gone unnoticed in the academic literature: college housing. I examine the relationships among college undergraduates residing off-campus, poverty rates, and housing cost and affordability measures. Using first-difference models of tract-level data from 2000 to 2008, I find robust, positive associations between off-campus populations and poverty rates, and more modest but still visible relations to housing outcomes. The results suggest that demographers should pay attention to the presence of college students in urban areas, and also hold implications for policy related to grant provisioning and housing.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas M. Laidley, 2014. "The Privatization of College Housing: Poverty, Affordability, and the U.S. Public University," Housing Policy Debate, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 751-768, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:houspd:v:24:y:2014:i:4:p:751-768
    DOI: 10.1080/10511482.2013.875053

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    Cited by:

    1. Gregory James J. & Rogerson Jayne M., 2019. "Housing in multiple occupation and studentification in Johannesburg," Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series, Sciendo, vol. 46(46), pages 85-102, December.
    2. Nick Revington & Martine August, 2020. "Making a market for itself: The emergent financialization of student housing in Canada," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 52(5), pages 856-877, August.
    3. Mohammed Abdul-Rahman & Mayowa I. Adegoriola & Wilson Kodwo McWilson & Oluwole Soyinka & Yusuf A. Adenle, 2023. "Novel Use of Social Media Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Community Resilience Assessment (CRA) in University Towns," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(2), pages 1-30, January.
    4. Nathan S Foote, 2017. "Beyond studentification in United States College Towns: Neighborhood change in the knowledge nodes, 1980–2010," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 49(6), pages 1341-1360, June.
    5. Chloe Kinton & Darren P Smith & John Harrison, 2016. "De-studentification: emptying housing and neighbourhoods of student populations," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 48(8), pages 1617-1635, August.

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