Fixer Upper Homes has a lot of tenants, and they’re often low-income students who live in dorms and on the fringes of campus.
Now that college has become a more viable option for students who can’t afford housing, it seems colleges should do a better job of supporting students who have to leave.
In a letter to the college community last month, the nonprofit’s president and CEO, John McNeil, called for more help for students like himself who can no longer afford the rent.
McNeil and his wife have lived in their apartment for nearly two years.
The couple said they’ve seen a decrease in calls from students who want to stay.
“There’s been a decrease of about 30 percent,” McNeil said.
“The majority of the people who want out are students, but there are a few who are families.”
He said that many of the students who come in for help are already in their third or fourth year of college and are looking for help finding apartments.
McNeys said the nonprofit is working with the University of Southern California to build new units, but the university is still a “burden” for many students who are struggling to make ends meet.
“We’re working with a number of students and families, but most of them are still on the waiting list for their next apartment,” McNey said.
McNeill said that for some students, it’s important to have roommates in their dorms to help with living costs.
“If you can’t rent your own apartment, you can still help out in other ways,” he said.
The letter, McNeil wrote, is part of an ongoing effort to address the problem of students being unable to pay their own rent, a problem that has been compounded by a recent spike in college applications.
In addition to McNeil’s work with the university, he’s also working to educate the public about the need for housing.
“One of the things we’ve seen in the last couple of years is a massive increase in the demand for college housing, but in many cases they’re not there,” McNeill added.
“This is one of the major problems for many families who can barely afford it.”