Providence councilors approve student housing ordinance


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP/WPRI) — College students in Rhode Island’s capital city will soon find themselves with fewer housing options.

The Providence city council voted 11-3 Thursday night to approve an ordinance that would limit the number of college students who can live in an off-campus single-family home. Only Councilmen Seth Yurdin, Sam Zurier and Wilbur Jennings voted against the law. Councilman John Igliozzi was absent.

Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan says she introduced the legislation as a way to curb student partying in the Elmhurst and Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods that surround Providence College and Rhode Island College.

She says residents are also concerned that single-family homes are being purchased and then rented to college students.

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and several landlords say the ordinance discriminates against students.

In a strange twist Thursday, the Providence Apartment Association pledged its support for the new law. In a statement, the group said the ordinance has been “surgically tailored to limit the impact on students and does not affect the majority of landlords.”

“Single-family homes in this zone were never meant to house students in a dorm-style living situation,” the group said.

The ordinance will now head to the mayor’s desk where he is expected to sign it into law.

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