Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Tucson’s 15.9% rental vacancy rate: Mini-dorms in a sick housing market

Each August Tucson– like college towns nationwide– sees a flurry of activity as students move back to town and scramble to find lodging.

In recent years, local mini-dorm developers have gone wild– buying up cheap houses (thanks to record foreclosures and a glut of houses for sale), unceremoniously leveling the said houses, and constructing mini-dorms– the scurge of Tucson’s University-area neighborhoods.

This year– with a 15.9 percent rental vacancy rate— Tucson is a renters’ market. For rent signs abound. Good for students and other renters. Not so good for landlords and mini-dorm developers.

Back in April, I pondered the fate of the mini-dorm market— given dramatic hikes in tuition at The University of Arizona. Tucson’s recent designation as the “sickest housing market in the US”, its recent designation as the most impoverished city in the Sunbelt, and its glut of unrented rentals make my question even more poignant: Will mini-dorms become empty monuments to greed?

How much you wanna bet that mini-dorm developers Michael Goodman and Richard Studwell try to sell these architectural behemoths to the city when they can’t rent them?

One comment on “Tucson’s 15.9% rental vacancy rate: Mini-dorms in a sick housing market

  1. Proud to be a friend of Pam's
    August 8, 2011

    Didja hear the latest? That mini-dorm mogul Michael Goodman and the city are going to mediate? Details here:


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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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