OXFORD, Miss. — Many residents residing in Oxford Mississippi are facing the question “should I stay or should I go?”. The question has emerged due to a rapid increase in rent and housing prices. Many people who have been living in places such as The Connection, Campus Walk, or The Hub are being forced to move into apartment complexes with lower rent and a less centralized location. Some residents are choosing to move out of Oxford all together to bordering communities despite the longer commute to work.
The University of Mississippi plays a huge role in the increasing rent prices. Since 2000 there has been an 85.1% population increase in Oxford. A large contributing factor to the increased population is an increase in student enrollment in the University. Within the last ten years enrollment with the University has increased by 40.5% with a 13.1% increase in the last five years. This has lead to an increased demand for housing. As a result housing prices have rapidly increased.
The long term resident is suffering, in particular those with low income jobs. Rent is no longer affordable and there isn’t a solution yet. Although the University is responsible for creating a numerous amount of jobs it is having a negative effect on renters and home owners. Even many of those employed by the University are finding that they can no longer afford their homes in Oxford. The University has expressed no intention to decrease enrollment within the next few years so unless an alternate solution is curated the housing crises will not be resolved any time soon and more and more people will be forced to move out of Oxford.