Rent increases of as much as $35.00 per month, brought about by the abandoning of rent controls just January 1st, have caused serious housing difficulties for off-campus University students this Fall.
Most students' leases ran through June 1956, and therefore rent increases could not effect them until this month, when they attempted to sign new leases.
Despite the difficulties local students faced, the non-University residents have been even harder hit. A city hall official, who receives countless complaints daily, reports that because of fixed incomes and families, these residents can not begin to compete with students in the race for reasonable rentals.
Cambridge residents are aware, she stated, that the ever-increasing demand for apartments in University areas has contributed to the increase in rates. Many of them are critical of the University for not accommodating their own students, and thus causing Cambridge housing to be the most expensive in this area.
As High as $80 a Month
According to the PBH Housing Directory supplied by Mrs. Sylvia Clark, one room apartments with kitchenette and bath run as high as $80.00 monthly: walk-ups without private bath go for $75.00; and for less than that, most apartments offered are cold water flats.
Since rates outside the Cambridge area are considerably less, more and more married students are having to choose apartments far from the University, according to the Secretary's assistant at Harvard Wives.
On the basis of rent complaints in Brighton and Brookline, where landlords have collected an estimated $1.5 million in increased rates since January, legislators from those districts are being urged to propose a bill which would limit the rate of increase to 10 per cent within a two-year period. Talk of setting up a Fair Rent Commission is also circulating.