“Save Amherst” group says off-campus housing hurting town

UMass continues to increase the number of students who need off-campus housing

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A group of Amherst residents are concerned about what they say is a rapid development of property to accommodate the University of Massachusetts.

The group of residents say that their headline “Save Amherst” may sound extreme but it deserves attention. Their main concern is that the University of Massachusetts continues to increase the number of students who need off-campus housing.

Now the market has reacted and realtors and investors are buying property to build apartment buildings including the construction of Kendrick Place on the corner of Triangle and Pleasant Streets.

One woman told 22News says she agrees with some of the group’s notions.

“This is a small town, and they didn’t include parking for the residents, so the parking is an issue I think more,” said Linda Lawton-Jacobson. “The students, we love the students they are important to us.”

The group also argues that because students rent by the room it freezes out moderate income families from the rental market, and the downtown area is becoming too pricey for small town businesses to survive.

The group cites that in 2010 61% of UMass students lived on campus.

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