By Colin Sturrock

Last year, with the pandemic in full swing and the future more uncertain than ever, my partner and I needed to find a way to spend less on housing. At the time, we were both graduate students at CU, trying to get our Ph.D.’s and stretching our stipends thin to cover Boulder’s high cost of living. Though we were sharing a bedroom in a three-bedroom house, we couldn’t simply find another roommate to rent the unoccupied bedroom that was “the study.” Since we had one roommate already, a fourth tenant would have put us in violation of Boulder’s restrictive occupancy law against more than three unrelated persons sharing a dwelling. It didn’t matter that there was ample space for them.

As we scoured rentals across town and confronted the stressful prospect of moving during a global pandemic, it became clear that our options were limited for a reason that has nothing to do with the amount of space we occupied: we weren’t married or in a domestic partnership.

Had my partner and I simply gone down to the courthouse and got hitched, like magic we would be legally allowed to rent out the extra room and our problems would be solved. So, if marriage or domestic partnership is all it would take for us to rent the room, why couldn’t we do so in the first place? As a “legal couple” we would take up the same amount of space, only now we would be legally committed to each other for no other reason than to satisfy our city’s outdated and discriminatory housing policy. Another possibility: one of our siblings could have moved to town and rented the room. But a cousin or friend? Boulder says no.

As many who have been in a similar situation already know, Boulder’s restrictive occupancy limits clearly aren’t solely about ensuring enough space for each person in a dwelling or on a given block. These limits actively make living in Boulder harder and more expensive for unmarried couples like my partner and I, along with a host of other equally valid family and community arrangements that fall outside of our city’s narrow and outdated definition of “related.”

It is none of Boulder’s business when or whether I choose to get married, and I shouldn’t be denied housing options for that reason alone. Allowing those in non-traditional family arrangements equal access to housing opportunities in Boulder is just one of many reasons to vote yes on ballot measure 300, which limits occupancy based on the only relevant metric, the number of rooms, and not a discriminatory definition of who counts as “related.”

Colin Sturrock is a Boulder resident and former CU student. 

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By Colin Sturrock

Last year, with the pandemic in full swing and the future more uncertain than ever, my partner and I needed to find a way to spend less on housing. At the time, we were both graduate students at CU, trying to get our Ph.D.’s and stretching our stipends thin to cover Boulder’s high cost of living. Though we were sharing a bedroom in a three-bedroom house, we couldn’t simply find another roommate to rent the unoccupied bedroom that was “the study.” Since we had one roommate already, a fourth tenant would have put us in violation of Boulder’s restrictive occupancy law against more than three unrelated persons sharing a dwelling. It didn’t matter that there was ample space for them.

As we scoured rentals across town and confronted the stressful prospect of moving during a global pandemic, it became clear that our options were limited for a reason that has nothing to do with the amount of space we occupied: we weren’t married or in a domestic partnership.

Had my partner and I simply gone down to the courthouse and got hitched, like magic we would be legally allowed to rent out the extra room and our problems would be solved. So, if marriage or domestic partnership is all it would take for us to rent the room, why couldn’t we do so in the first place? As a “legal couple” we would take up the same amount of space, only now we would be legally committed to each other for no other reason than to satisfy our city’s outdated and discriminatory housing policy. Another possibility: one of our siblings could have moved to town and rented the room. But a cousin or friend? Boulder says no.

As many who have been in a similar situation already know, Boulder’s restrictive occupancy limits clearly aren’t solely about ensuring enough space for each person in a dwelling or on a given block. These limits actively make living in Boulder harder and more expensive for unmarried couples like my partner and I, along with a host of other equally valid family and community arrangements that fall outside of our city’s narrow and outdated definition of “related.”

It is none of Boulder’s business when or whether I choose to get married, and I shouldn’t be denied housing options for that reason alone. Allowing those in non-traditional family arrangements equal access to housing opportunities in Boulder is just one of many reasons to vote yes on ballot measure 300, which limits occupancy based on the only relevant metric, the number of rooms, and not a discriminatory definition of who counts as “related.”

Colin Sturrock is a Boulder resident and former CU student. 

, Not married? No room for you — ‘Yes’ on 300 , Daily Camera guest opinion , 2021-10-28 18:43:14 , Boulder Daily Camera , , https://www.dailycamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/DC-backupimage-1000×563.jpg , [rule_{ruleNumber}] , [rule_{ruleNumber}_plain] , , , https://www.dailycamera.com/2021/10/28/guest-opinion-colin-sturrock-not-married-no-room-for-you-yes-on-300/ , https://www.dailycamera.com/2021/10/28/guest-opinion-colin-sturrock-not-married-no-room-for-you-yes-on-300/ , www.dailycamera.com , https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailycamera.com%2F2021%2F10%2F28%2Fguest-opinion-colin-sturrock-not-married-no-room-for-you-yes-on-300%2F , Commentary,Opinion,Uncategorized, #married #room