Apartment Tropes in Fiction: Myth or Reality?

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Towards the end of last week’s article I went off on a bit of a rant about the importance of studying apartment life as a reflection of modern culture. Longtime readers will know that I’ll sometimes go back in after an article has launched and add a sentence or two as an afterthought. Last week I added the following sentence: “When a topic so central to the lives of so many people is viewed through the distorted lens of folklore, policies and behaviors arise based on assumptions that are most likely false.”

Tropes are fictional shortcuts. They are used by authors, scriptwriters and playwrights to quickly indicate character traits, setting, or get the plot moving in a particular direction. When it comes to apartments there are tons of tropes. Apartments themselves are a trope used to show that the setting involves young, urban characters who are not all that wealthy and don’t have kids. Today we’re going to look at four common apartment-related tropes and see how they measure up to reality based on my own experience and statistics I’ve been able to dig up. Continue reading Apartment Tropes in Fiction: Myth or Reality?

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

Off-Campus Housing Studies: Think Tanks and Apartment Scholarship

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been looking at the groups across the US that focus on research into apartments, multifamily housing, and related landlord-tenant matters. I started with a comparison of the abundant research into tenant matters and low income housing against the scarce research into landlord matters. I then moved on to a roundup of the recent research papers released by graduate and doctoral students across the US. Last week I provided a list of the universities and colleges across the country with centers or departments dedicated to housing studies.

But not all housing-related scholarship occurs on college campuses. The US also has a large number of think tanks, corporate groups which focus on research and advocacy. Some are for-profit, most are non-profit. Most are based in Washington, DC. Continue reading Off-Campus Housing Studies: Think Tanks and Apartment Scholarship

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

List of College and University Research Centers for Housing Studies in the US

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Now that our pause to discuss current events and our minor site outage are out of the way we can return to our ongoing series about housing and academia. (Part 1, Part 2) Today we’ll be exploring the universities that offer programs in the relatively new interdisciplinary field of “housing studies”.

Some US colleges and universities have been focusing on housing studies in some form or another since the civil rights era of the 1960s. In most cases the programs started as sub-departments of schools of public policy, urban planning, social work or sociology. They may include coursework in all of those fields along with data science, statistics, business, finance, public health, political science and law. Some even include an overview of architecture and engineering, usually from the perspective of green construction and utility usage. In contrast to the more established schools of real estate that arise out of MBA and programs, housing studies programs will tend to offer MS, MA or MSW degrees along with Ph.Ds. While undergrads can certainly get an early start housing studies, most of these programs are for masters and doctoral students only. Continue reading List of College and University Research Centers for Housing Studies in the US

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.

Renting in Chicago in the Last Days of Illegal Cannabis

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In case you hadn’t noticed, we tend to run several loosely connected articles in a row. Sometimes current events force us to take a pause in the middle of these series to address more pressing current events. This is one of those times. We’ll return to discussing academia and renting next week. In the meantime we need to talk about cannabis.

In case you’ve been living under a rock and are unaware, the Illinois legislature has approved the most permissive cannabis legalization bill in the country. The governor still has to sign it but has voiced his intentions to do so. However, this new law governing the legal use, sale, cultivation and transportation of marijuana will not take effect until January 1. In the meantime we still have a little over half a year to prepare, and for some Chicago renters this period will need to be one of extreme vigilance. So if you are a renter with a strong opinion on the matter or an allergy here are some things you need to consider during these last days of illegal cannabis in Chicago. Continue reading Renting in Chicago in the Last Days of Illegal Cannabis

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Published by

Kay Cleaves

Founder and owner of RentConfident. She's the primary developer of the website and research engine code. She's spent over 10 years working in the Chicago rental industry and has assisted with over 1200 leases.