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Fort Collins likely to revise longstanding "You + Two" ordinance; "We have a housing crisis"

After decades of students at Colorado State University complaining about the Fort Collins "You + Two" ordinance, the City of Fort Collins is slated to move forward with making adjustments to its housing occupancy laws. Although students and the public failed to gather enough signatures to take the measure to the voters, the city council members decided to address the concerns themselves.

"We have a housing crisis," Fort Collins Mayor Jeni Arndt said. "If we think this is just a young person's issue, that is a false framing of the issue. It is community-wide."

As it stands, the law limits the number of unrelated individuals living in one household to three. So, if someone is renting a home that has five bedrooms, the city's law still says only three unrelated individuals can occupy that home.

While that law may have been intended to prevent overcrowding of homes among college students while preserving neighborhoods, Arndt said it ultimately impacted many more residents.

"We have people that are coming to me that are vet techs, teachers, in the medical profession that are saying three roommates is reasonable," Arndt said.

Arndt said one estimate suggested there were at least 15,000 vacant bedrooms in Fort Collins. While some of that is by choice of the homeowner, other rooms are sitting vacant due to the occupancy laws.

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