2019 | Housing Alternatives for Students

Across major cities in the United States, there is an unspoken housing crisis for students and working-class individuals. In areas such as these, many individuals must opt for shared living situations due to the fact that apartment costs are extremely high. Even with roommates, however, the prices are still too high. Students in these cities are often put into a predicament: either stay inexpensive, ill-kept, freedom-restricting dorms or find off-campus housing with multiple roommates and commute every day. As the price of college skyrockets, there are many instances when on-campus housing creeps towards becoming the same price as tuition. At the New School, for example, the cost of the average double dorm is $19,200, which is almost the cost of tuition for one semester.1 It is unjust that individuals who work at minimum wage are unable to afford basic housing. Even those in the middle class cannot afford a simple 2 bedroom apart in New York City, as it costs around $3800 a year; this would mean that you would have to make at least $162,000 a year to live comfortably2. Affordable housing is one of the biggest problems in the United States and has, unfortunately, has not been subject to a lot of attention from the mainstream press in recent years. There are, however, some initiatives that aim to fix these problems. Some companies aim to create decently priced and large shareable living spaces. There has also been an influx in sustainable, off-grid style housing; this would include converting shipping crates into small studios, or modern “tiny houses”. While they are certainly not perfect solutions, they are ultimately an active step forward. There must be an affordable, comfortable, and sustainable solution in fixing the housing crisis that is affecting the members of the working class and university students.

Category: Sustainable Design
Industry: Sustainability
Location: International
Related to: Sustainability, Future of Design, Future of Housing, Shared Housing, Shared Economy
Researcher: Milena Correa / Parsons School of Design