Date of Award

Summer 8-9-2013

Thesis Access

Open Access Honors Thesis

Thesis Location

Honors College Thesis

Degree Name



Urban Studies and Planning

Faculty Advisor

Avis Vidal


The private housing market for students around Wayne State University, an urban campus in Detroit, Michigan, stands in a fast-changing period. The area has grown economically from institutional and medical center investment in the past few years, causing occupancy and rents to rise. This follows years of disinvestment that allowed rent rates to fall to comfortable rates for students. The University has published its interest in developing the “campus life” including more off-campus private market housing for students, while developers see potential for even higher rents for young professionals. This study assesses the current perceptions of a sample of rental building landlords from the area, concluding that students are the externality of this environment, and will likely be pushed out in the future. Lacking in the literature is an understanding of the number of students in the area, the process of development of private-market student housing agglomerations, and the costs and benefits to private landlords and universities of addressing the student externality identified in the study. These topics of interest require much greater research to be fully understood, and to better describe this situation. Doing so would provide greater understanding of the future direction of the area, and would have many applications to a variety of interested parties and investors.