NYU Acknowledges No One Can Afford Housing, Offers ‘Grandma’s Spare Room’ to Students

Posted on: November 29th, 2016 at 5:13 am by
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New York University – the college and real estate behemoth – acknowledges that no one can really afford to attend anymore. Let alone dorm near the 4th Street “campus.” So it’s introduced a pilot program that pairs the young and the old with cheaper living quarters.

“Grandma’s Spare Room,” as the name suggests, is an intergenerational initiative that lodges students in the homes of the elderly. More precisely, in their spare rooms. Demand for the program is apparently through the roof, and with good reason. The annual rent expected for those taking advantage of this living situation is roughly $5,000, about half the cost of a shared room in NYU’s cheapest dorm.

“Grandma’s Spare Room” is linked to the Lower East Side, as NYU teamed up with University Settlement to implement.

The Guardian, of all places, has the scoop:

…University officials said initial demand had been so strong that it could be extended to hundreds of students and perhaps other schools in New York and other expensive cities across the country.

NYU is working with University Settlement, a not-for-profit group that helps low-income families on the Lower East Side, to bring the project to life. Eric Weingartner, the chief executive of University Settlement, said the plan was to identify apartment buildings near NYU that had a high proportion of older people so that several students could be accommodated in different families’ apartments, but near each other to retain some of the feeling of living in a dorm.

“This is an opportunity to help low- or fixed-income seniors, and help address the wider housing affordability crisis in New York City,” he said. “There are people live in apartments with massive amounts of room no one really lives in, while other people struggle to afford anywhere to live.”

Schall and Weingartner said both student and senior communities were excited about the project and had already approached the organisations to try and sign up to the scheme, which hasn’t launched yet.

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