The concerns Iowa State students and others who rent in Ames have with renting properties were laid out before the City Council by the Ex Officio Student Liaison Devyn Leeson during Tuesday’s meeting.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people in the past few weeks about rental housing and the like ... and I realize that a lot of the issues that I sent in an email to [the council] are things the city would find a hard time regulating or the interest isn’t all there,” Leeson said.
The council agreed unanimously with Leeson’s idea to refer those issues to the Campus and Community Commission (CCC), which “provides a public forum to facilitate discussion of common interest to the City of Ames, Iowa State University, and Iowa State University Student Government,” according to its website.
Leeson said he was told by Ames Mayor John Haila in an email the city could not address some of the issues he brought up because the city did not have “standing,” — however Leeson said he believes that some of the issues the city can address, such as utility fair pricing.
“[T]he best course of action for me to see these issues through is to advocate for them to the CCC,” Leeson said to the Daily after the council meeting had concluded.
Ames Assistant City Manager Brian Phillips said the CCC gathers information from both tenants and landlords, such as what tenants “wish they had known” before renting and “what kinds of issues landlords normally see” with tenants. Phillips said it is not necessarily the role of the CCC to recommend ordinances to the City Council.
The CCC will receive the email from Leeson and they will be asked to incorporate those issues into what they work on. Phillips said he anticipates it will require “several months” for the CCC to study the issues.