The right to housing is a fundamental human right. But our recent survey of nearly 200 students reveals a disturbing truth: we face a crisis in affordable housing on campus. Of students we surveyed in 5 cities across our network, 15% report that they are homeless or formerly homeless. In addition, close to 40% identify homelessness and affordable housing as among the issues they want to do something about. Fifty-five percent of all the students say they will need additional financial aid if they are to graduate.
Studies show that one major reason for the high dropout rate in community colleges is the shortage of affordable housing for students. In 2014, over 56,000 U.S. college students were classified as “homeless” and this number counts only those students who are registered in homeless shelters or identify themselves as homeless. This figure has increased 75% over the last three years. It is part of a larger picture: there currently are 1.3 million homeless young people in the U.S. This is double the figure for 2008.
Programs across our network are addressing this crisis.
- In Los Angeles, students are engaging in action-research to more fully understand the student housing problem, and aim to require all local colleges to survey their students about their housing needs.
- Minneapolis-CLP is leading the planning for mixed-use student housing development with its community and academic partners.
- At DeAnza College, students are taking lead roles in community-based renters’ rights campaigns to address gaping housing inequality in San Jose.
Read our Student Housing Crisis Report by Andy Mott, our Senior Advisor and founder. As the former Executive Director of the Center for Community Change and former Chair of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, Andy brings great expertise to these issues. He has gathered stories of the solutions to the student housing crisis that our local sites are implementing.
Read Andy Mott’s report here: Student Housing Crisis Report