Original article from The Daily Wildcat
On Saturday, June 22nd, Ward 1 City Council candidates– Lane Santa Cruz, Sami Hamed, Rob Ellias, and Miguel Ortega– and the three competing democratic Tucson mayoral candidates– Randi Dorman, Regina Romero, and Steve Farley– came together at El Rio Neighborhood Center to discuss gentrification in Tucson.
As affluent Tucson continues to seep into traditionally lower-income areas, with developers buying cheap property on the South and West sides, rents have increased and displacement has become a painful reality.
Many of the development projects behind this displacement have been built for–and depend on– seasonal business: that of snow-birds and out-of-state students. Catering to the latter and punctuating the city’s skyline, luxury student housing developments have appeared at an incredible rate, causing concern and push-back within the community.
Candidate Ortega referred to the luxury student housing developments as an encroachment.
“We have to listen and recognize the leadership that has already been fighting this encroachment for many, many years,” Ortega said. “The students that come in, they have to respect the historic nature, they have to respect the quality of life of our residents.”
The UA is a growing institution. As the forum’s moderator, Arizona Public Media border reporter Nancy Montoya, phrased it, “this is a question of where do we put all these students?”
“The UA is a land-grant institution that operates more like a business, always trying to bring in outsiders,” said Santa Cruz.
Though total UA enrollment increased from 2017 to 2018, enrollment of in-state students decreased.
Published Jun 24, 2019 6:58pm, Updated Jun 27, 2019 3:08pm