Ordinance leaves students homeless

By KATIE HEWITT

Stephanie Davenport was renting a home with four of her college friends within miles of Kennesaw State University’s campus in Georgia when they were evicted due to a Cobb County ordinance.

“We looked into renting at many apartment complexes off campus, but we got a better deal and more space by renting this home,” said Davenport, a KSU student.

The KSU students were removed from their rental property in October 2013, right in the middle of their fall semester.

Davenport said she was taking her major classes that semester and was working almost 40 hours a week. Having to find a new home during all of that was extremely stressful for her.

“I do not know why this happened to us. We are all good students,” she said. “We are involved on and off campus, and we have never gotten into any trouble before.”

The Cobb County code was put into effect in 2010 to prevent two or more families from residing in the same house.

Tina Tafs, a realtor for Maximum One Reality, said the code was passed as a way to keep communities safe.

“This ordinance was never meant to hurt anyone,” said Tafs. “The Cobb County government was just trying to create a code that would benefit everyone in the community. It was never to hurt students.”

Davenport and her previous roommates attended two hearings, but the zoning board denied the students application to remain in the home.

KSU’s growing student population is leaving many students in search of homes off campus. With 24,000 students enrolled at KSU, 86 percent of students live off campus.

This is just one case where the Cobb County, Ga., ordinance has left students searching for other means of living. A special land-use permit can be applied for, but would need to be approved.

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