We Say: Voices of LOU

Brining Awareness to the Oxford Housing Crisis

The city of Oxford is a quaint town full of tradition and history. The town has been included in lists such as “best 100 small towns in America”. Oxford is home to the University of Mississippi, an institution always included in ranks such as “most beautiful campus”, “best tailgating experience”, etc. The city grows in numbers during the school year when Ole Miss students arrive and add more life and culture.

However, behind the scenes of the one of the most beautiful, small, creative towns in Mississippi is a crisis among locals that many people, who are not affected by the crisis, do not know about. Locals in the Lafayette Oxford University area have dealt with the issue of not having affordable housing options. The city has undergone a extraordinary amount of renovations and additions making it seem even more top notch. There has been a new shopping center, 5 star hotels, and luxury student apartment complexes built in record time. As the city of Oxford begins to grow in size, so does the its cost of living. It’s appealing to the students, the alumni, the locals with higher level income and even the visitors; making this town even livelier with each addition and renovation.

Then there is Riverside. A recent closure in a Section 8 housing community that seemed to have been lost and forgotten among all of the growth happening in the community. Locals being displaced from their affordable housing due to the closing of the Riverside community. The tenants of this affordable housing community have had to find new places to live in Oxford, which is especially hard to do since housing is geared toward college students and renting by room.

A group of classes from the Meek School of Journalism and New Media have been assigned the task of running a Facebook page and bringing awareness to this issue and engaging the LOU community, especially to students of the University. How easy is it as a student to get caught up in the college lifestyle of roommates and college centered housing? The city of Oxford’s housing options are geared more to the college student that rents per room. To a student $500, $600, or maybe even $700 per room seems feasible because he is only responsible for his room in the house, apartment, or condo. However, to a family of 3 or 4 paying per room it is not attainable, especially on one or low income. The Voices of LOU page has provided an abundance of information on the topic to bring the community together and to bring attention to what is currently happening in their community. With information on ways of getting involved, information on groups determined to help, facts on the Oxford standard of living; the Voiced of LOU has caught the attention of many in the LOU community.

Our goal is to shed light on the housing crisis in Oxford and provide insight from the individuals actually going through these types of situations, as well as providing the information on how to get involved. The LOU community is also a family, and as a family everyone should be aware of what is going on in their surrounding areas.

To stay up to date on Riverside or the housing crisis follow We Say: Voices of LOU on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/wesaylou ) for more information on discussion forums around town and ways to get involved.