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As the crackdown on illegal housing rentals continues, it is becoming more challenging for students to find inexpensive housing off-campus. (GÜL BERKTAŞ / THE STATESMAN)

As residents in the neighborhoods surrounding Stony Brook University and the Town of Brookhaven work to rid the area of illegal housing rentals and attract single families to the homes for sale, students may have to look for other housing options.

Sophomore math major Jay Chen lives in an off-campus house that complies with Brookhaven town code, but says that he finds that legal housing is more expensive.

The rent for his house is $2,850, not including costs for TV and Internet, and is intended to be split between three renters. Chen said his landlord insists on conducting legal rentals, despite the fact that opportunity for profit is decreasing, as there are only two renters in the house.

Chen is looking to move out of the house soon because friends of his, who live in illegally rented houses, pay less for rent.

“I kind of feel sorry for my landlord,” he said. “They are super nice and just followed the rules.” He believes that the price he pays now does not compete with the renting costs for some illegal renting houses.

Stony Brook’s Off-Campus Housing website can only show listings for legal housing rentals. There are currently 29 listings on the site that range from whole house rentals and apartments to single rooms.

The OCH site shows a room to rent in Stony Brook at $155 per week, utilities included. Another room in Stony Brook costs $550 per month, utilities included, while a closer one is listed at $780 per month. In East Setauket and Setauket, there are rooms to rent for $600 per month, both including utilities.

It costs $800 a month to rent a house in Stony Brook, not including utilities. To rent an apartment in Stony Brook or Setauket, the cost per month ranges from $1,050 to $1,595.

Not all off-campus housing is advertised on the official Stony Brook OCH website. There is a housing group for Stony Brook students and a page called SB Off-Campus Housing on Facebook, which show spaces for rent and posts from students looking for a room or roommate.

It is not always clear whether the rentals on these pages comply with town codes or not. Only some of the posts indicate the number of housemates included in the rental, but compared to the rates for living in residence halls and West Apartments, single off-campus rooms tend to cost less per semester.

Stony Brook’s Campus Residences webpage shows that the 2013-2014 per-semester rate for a single dorm room is $4,190 ($4,273 in a cooking building) and that a double costs $3,634 ($3,714 with air conditioning or cooking).

The rate for a single in West Apartments is $4,504 per semester while a double costs $3,872.

Senior French major Kameron Myers has lived on-campus the past four years. He explained he has never worried about utility costs and would never want to live off-campus because of the commute. “Dealing with South P doesn’t sound very exciting,” he said.

Senior psychology major Diana Tavares is a commuter student who lives about 25 minutes from campus. She said she would never consider living on campus because she finds it to be too expensive.

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3 comments

  1. The problem are the racist attitudes of some homeowners. They misplace their anger because of a slow housing market and blames what has been ongoing (rentals) for the past 30 years in the neighborhood. There have always been and will always be student rentals around a university. Students/landlords are not the problems. The core of the issue is their house is their retirement bank. The housing market out here is going to be slow for the next decade b/c of declining job market. Instead of facing reality, they get angry and basically creates more harm then good. I think its great that investors are snapping up homes. Without them, the area would be in a huge decline. The neighborhood should be thankful to the university and the student populations out in the town. The students have always been a part of the culture out in the area. So far the only results I have seen from the homeowners is really them punishing themselves pushing stricter laws amongst themselves and the town loves it b/c the increased in fines is badly needed for the broken budget. If anyone read the news, shortfall in budgets are being eased by increased hidden taxes and fines in things like permits, applications, and penalties. The solution is really to simply find a place for the students instead and not displace them out of the neighborhood. Hopefully cooler heads will wake up and realize this. Too bad right now we have this angry group of people holding idiotic rallys in front of rentals and dragging things in the news with misleading comments.

  2. With the University expanding and growing more popular everyday, I find it very unlikely that single families would like to grow roots in or around Stony Brook. That being said, it’s time for the University to step up and buy out surrounding properties. Given the current market, owners should take the opportunity to sell to the University, and hopefully University Row can once again be University Row.

  3. This is so silly. I pay $630 a month tops (including utilities) with 4 renters entirely complying with the codes in a lovely house walking distance to campus. You just have to be a good tenant and the right landlord will want you. We are in no way the dilemma.

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