I spoke with south university resident Lam Lu about his thoughts concerning the good and bad of living in the area. His foremost responses were about the new social hosting ordinance, but, upon further inquisition into other local problems, off-campus living conditions for student tenants have become a relevant issue for him. Lam‘s house, of which he pays $550 per month for rent, recently failed a Eugene housing code safety check on the grounds that it was deemed unsafe for tenants to live. Having lived in the house for a year prior to this not-so-shocking revelation, he has always been aware of his unsafe living conditions. On a dry night, a fortunate dry night because of the downpour of rain that had fallen earlier that day, part of Lam’s roof fell through; the debris fell partly onto his bed, but mostly on his previously clean laundry that lay neatly folded at the foot of his bed.
Potentially harmful amounts of mold adorn the ceiling above Lam’s shower. Dirty in nature, one of his two roommates living in the basement lives in a curtained off partition in a basement that is notorious for filling with water when it becomes too wet in Eugene. Too wet in Eugene is an often occurrence. Is this a matter of uncontrolled tenant behavior? Unless Lam has abused this house since it was constructed in the early 1930’s, this seems to be a matter of neglectful abuse on behalf of the homeowners. Are homeowners abusing student tenants simply because they don’t have the experience, knowledge, or means to defend themselves properly? It is a relevant question in this neighborhood that is worth exploring.