Conditions in Collegetown lately seem to echo a sentiment proclaimed by Jimmy McMillan, who ran for governor of New York in 2010: “The rent is too damn high.”
Humorous campaign slogan aside, this has become the mantra of Cornell students as well, as rent rates for apartments in Collegetown have increased substantially over the past several years. According to The Ithaca Times, in 2014, Ithaca was ranked 11th on The New York Times’ list of most expensive United States cities, just one spot behind the nation’s financial capital of New York. This accompanied a report released by the Urban Institute in 2015, which revealed that about 44 percent of American renters spent over 35 percent of their income on rent in 2010. The rent issue is a result of too many students searching for too few off-campus housing options. Over half Cornell’s 14,000 undergraduate students live off campus, and Cornell’s on-campus facilities cannot accommodate the demand for housing.