Unaffordable Housing And The Dumbing Down Of America

A young woman face down on a book, sleeping in a library
This scene was created by affordablehousingaction.org and is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

Five years ago, Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia discovered that it was running a housing service in their library that they were entirely unaware of1.

Today things if anything have become worse for college students, particularly in the United States. Many parents have poured a half a lifetime of money into creating profits for banks as they pay off decades of mortgage. Then what?

For offspring with house-proud parents now heading for retirement and a only a modest income, wracking up personal debt is increasingly the only way that children can parley a high school diploma into a college degree. That in turn will most likely buy the security of a middle-class job.

Worth it? The City University of New York (CUNY) estimates that their graduates as a group earn roughly twice as much as those who never get to university. That income is hopefully enough for a solid middle class career.

But the high cost of housing is making it more and more likely that children, particularly those of less affluent parents, will be forced to abandon dreams of higher education. Sneaking free rent by living in the university library for several years is certainly an audacious challenge that most would not set out to take.

In recognition of how the ballooning cost of housing is crippling even modest dreams of future prosperity, the non-profit Neighborhood Coalition For Shelter, is exploring a pilot project that, as reported in the following article, is  “. . .helping students experiencing housing precarity until they complete their degrees.”

There are so many students who are being left beside the road to prosperity. Can a charitable organization really make a difference? Read more at BUSINESS INSIDER: An NYC group wants to keep homeless college students from dropping out so they can achieve ‘a gateway to the middle class’


  1. Read more in Pedestrian: Charles Sturt Uni Had 6 Students Literally Living In Their 24-Hour Library