Sophie Martens is excited to start her first year at Tufts University School of Medicine, and relieved she finally found a place to live in Boston.

“Definitely was a long hard process competing with all the other people looking for apartments in such a housing shortage right now,” she said.

It’s a shortage city officials and economists argue is made worse by the fact that there aren’t enough dormitories for students. The city of Boston estimatesthat more than 40% of the students — about 66 thousand who go to Boston-based schools — live off campus.

The resulting pressure on rental inventory and prices, a longstanding issue, has become more urgent in an increasingly tight housing market and amid a surge in the student population. It’s a tension at play not just in Boston, but also nearby communities that house many of the area’s more than 50 colleges and universities.

Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne said schools should be responsible for housing their students and should think creatively about how to build more dorms on campus.

“If they don't provide on campus housing for their students, that pushes the stresses on the rental market even more,” Ballantyne said, ”It forces a competition between families and adults, working adults who are trying to find housing.”

Click play above to learn more about how students impact rental prices and about the neighborhoods most affected.