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Landlords trying to fill growing number of rental vacancies

That is a really, really good point and it does seem like the logical place to start. I looked for weeks for an apartment "in town" and was absolutely shocked by the rent prices being asked for units that were literally disgusting, like barely a step or two above a squatter's hovel. One apartment I saw had exposed wiring and a naked bulb right above a jury-rigged shower head that had been installed in a vinyl shell crammed into a closet, with a toilet jammed right next to it. There were no baseboards on the wall, showing black mold growing an inch out of the gap between the floor and the wall. The "kitchen/living room" (this was in one of those chopped-up houses) was a room that had some plywood "cabinets" that had been painted with flat white, a sink, a rusted stove, and thin carpet that was about 20 years old. Rent: $650. It was literally insulting to be told that was what it would cost to live there and the woman did it with a completely straight face. Every apartment I looked at in town was in a state of blatant disrepair that really did remind me of squats, and they all cost at least $600 or more. I moved into a large loft-style studio out on 23rd which is beautiful, with a gorgeous new kitchen and brand new appliances (stove, fridge, microwave, and dishwasher), a clubhouse with gym and laundry, a swimming pool, all utilities included except electricity (and with the new energy efficient appliances and the brand new double pane energy-saving windows, my bill has yet to go over $50 even in this blazing heat), and good quality neighbors (there is a substantial background check and a crime-free premises clause in the lease), on-site recycling, half a block from a good little shopping area. $495. As far as I'm concerned, the landlords gouging students for ridiculous rents to live in abject hovels with ancient amenities that cause their utilities to be sky-high can suck it. I'm delighted that there is all this wonderful, affordable, high-quality housing available in Lawrence for accessible rental prices. If all the slumlord properties go vacant and those landlords go broke and have to sell those houses for next to nothing because the only people who will buy them are those who will pay 50K for it and invest 100K to turn it into a nice single-family house which will ultimately be worth 200K, so much the better. I honestly think that's the fate that all the Oread slum houses should face: the landlords should take the bullet which is their rich reward for years of abuse and exploitation, and that neighborhood can be gentrified. It's really pretty inevitable.

August 14, 2011 at 11:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Landlords trying to fill growing number of rental vacancies

What company and which building? I know people who are looking but can't afford the prices here so they're settling into roommate situations or commuting.

August 14, 2011 at 11:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Searchers recover body of Tonganoxie man, 30, from Lone Star Lake in southern Douglas County

Here here! Those were some very brave and good-hearted kids. I am so glad the one whose leg got grabbed was able to extricate him/herself so it wasn't a compounded tragedy. Rescuing a drowning person is very tricky and dangerous business and many have died attempting it without training, and that young person is SO lucky to be alive today. I hope and pray that the teen who was grabbed is doing OK, that must have been an overall VERY traumatizing situation for him or her. My heart really goes out to those kids, and to the family of the man who drowned. It sounds like the young man was a strong swimmer, and even though alcohol may have been a big culprit in the accidental death, drowning can happen to anyone, ultimately with mysterious causes as far as what led to that first and often fatal inhalation of water.

August 14, 2011 at 11:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )