Feb 27, 2021 10:15 AM EST
Housing Advice For Housing Amid the Pandemic
Since March of 2020, students in New York and across the country have faced challenges in their everyday lives that ultimately impacted their education. The coronavirus pandemic resulted in young adults losing their jobs and, subsequently, the means to keep up with college expenses. As the nation went into lockdown, students living on campus and student housing units found themselves without a safe space to shelter in place.
While statewide lockdowns were lifted and many universities opened their doors for the fall 2020 semester, student housing remains an issue. Colleges implemented health and safety regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The most significant rule of limiting the number of occupants in dorm rooms and student housing units meant many out-of-state and international students were left with an uphill battle.
Housing Issues For Students
Young adults that generally relied on the universities for shelter had few options. Some colleges were able to secure temporary housing through local hotels. While nightly rates were the same as other housing options, students don't have access to amenities they needed for daily survival. Consequently, this change resulted in higher expenses for already strapped students and their families. While sharing living space and splitting the bills used to be an effective solution, the limited space in hotel rooms reduces the number of roommates students can accommodate.
Finding A Solution
If you or someone you know struggles with student housing, continue reading for a few suggestions on managing during these uncertain times.
Search Outside Of Campus
Don't limit yourself to student housing provided by the university. If you're going to have a place to stay, you may need to look at other living accommodations. Students could consider renting a house or apartment through a vacation rental platform. Depending on availability, you could secure a residence without a lease and live comfortably throughout the school year.
Other housing alternatives are hotels and motels. While some hotels in New York are a bit high priced, there are others within your budget. Just ensure that they have amenities like microwaves and mini-fridges for storing and preparing food. Finally, there are furnished apartments. Students can secure a simple apartment in the city equipped with everything they need to survive the school year. Some companies offer flexible leasing options, so students don't feel locked into a contract should something happen.
Take Virtual Tours
Out-of-state or international students searching for housing in New York face another issue - visiting properties in the middle of a pandemic. Traveling back and forth along with entering multiple properties puts their health at risk. Ultimately, the most convenient way to see a potential house or apartment for rent is to request a virtual tour. Students can view the premises online until they've found one that suits their needs. This concept eliminates the need for frequent travel and keeps them safe during the pandemic.
Choose Roommates Wisely
If your hotel, motel, house, or apartment has enough space, having a roommate will reduce the costs. As you search for the ideal student to live with, remember to take precautions. While financial discipline is a good quality to consider, you must also think about their lifestyle and personality. Are they responsible? Will they be safe when going out in public? Will they follow the guidelines of wearing masks in common areas and meeting company outside of the housing unit? Your roommate's activities have a direct impact on your health and safety, so don't be afraid to ask questions.
From unemployment and affording educational expenses to distance learning and housing trouble, college students are dealing with several problems amid the pandemic. The federal and local governments, along with university administrators, are doing what they can to provide assistance during these uncertain times. As the nation awaits the availability of vaccines for the general public, students are encouraged to use the advice provided above to find a safe place to stay as they continue weathering the storm.
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