“Picking between your home and feeding your family should not be a daily battle in the American city; both shelter and sustenance represent our rights as American citizens.” This is the premise of Marina Leventis, a recognized runner-up from our Student Voices scholarship program, in response to our recent prompt around homelessness in America.
Our Fall 2018 Ark Law Group Student Voices scholarship essay prompt was on the topic of homelessness in America, and posed the questions about some of the causes and possible solutions. One recognized runner-up was a submission by Kaylan Glover, who centered a point of view on a historical context and evaluated homelessness in the context of race.
A runner up in the Fall 2018 Ark Law Group Student Voices Scholarship, Faith Follett shared a blend of impactful statistics and personal scares as her family encountered struggles first-hand that could have easily led to an even harder situation.
A unique essay by Emily Riley is today’s runner-up highlight in our Ark Law Group Student Voices scholarship contest. In addressing the issue of homelessness in the United States, Emily offers an impassioned plea that we stop allowing our desensitization to large numbers get the best of us, especially when one person is already too many in a circumstance like homelessness.
Poverty is a misunderstood issue by those fortunate to not have direct experience with it, themselves. An essay submitted by Cole Chism connecting the dots between this perception and the extreme homelessness in the United States has won recognition as a Runner-Up in the Ark Law Group Student Voices Scholarship Program.
Each quarter, the ARK Law Student Voices Scholarship Program poses a new essay prompt, allowing students to share their thoughts around an important topic in today’s society. This year, the Fall 2018 contest posed the following question:
Gabryella Sherman is a Runner-Up in our recent Ark Law Student Voices Scholarship Essay Contest. To address causes and solutions of the American housing shortage, Gabryella states, “The housing shortage in the metropolitan areas of the United States is not a simple problem that has a simple solution with precise steps. Rather, it is a complex and multi-faceted issue that can be improved rather than entirely eliminated.” Job opportunity generates an influx of movement into cities, but corporations have the power to strategically attract people to varied areas outside of overly-packed city centers.
Maya Insidioso-Tucker researched the topic of the housing shortage in America, and provided some alarming facts as part of her Student Voices Scholarship Essay. With statistics that include 9.5% of all US households and 26% of all renter households considered “extremely low-income,” there are essentially 11.2 million households that fit into this category; only 35 affordable homes are available for every 100 extremely low-income household. Society has changed to the degree that millennials are living with parents longer, adults are living with roommate longer to spare expenses, and more people are turning to the “tiny house” movement. The question is whether this is preferred or forced.
“Why live in a metropolis in the first place? Why endure the polluted air, the high prices, the increased potential for crime, and the fierce competition for everything from water to jobs?” These are the questions posed from Josh Halczak as an introduction to his essay on the housing crisis in America for our Student Voices Scholarship Essay contest. Josh creates metaphoric imagery comparing a metro area to a fire, and people tend to flock to the center for the warmth, light and opportunity it provides. Josh recognizes that it’s easy to talk about expansion, but in reality there are only three options: upward, downward and outward. Some may be reserved for science fiction novels, but others have potential.
The American housing shortage is impacting many metro areas across the country, Boston being one, as discussed by Elizabeth Brayton in her submission to the Ark Law Student Voices Scholarship Essay Contest. Spotlighting her hometown of Boston, Elizabeth notices that specific issues include “discrimination against minority communities, little protection for those living in fear of displacement, and a market which favors economic growth over the quality of life of its residents.” The residing Mayor Walsh has promised 53,000 new housing markets by 2030, but everyone must be educated on the matters on hand and be supportive of the developing initiatives.
As part of our Student Voices collection, Margaret Rowley shared a first-hand experience with the American housing shortage in her current hometown of New York City. “I can think of few things as anxiety provoking as trying to find an affordable, safe and desirable apartment in a city where there is a shortage of housing,” she states. Americans have built “location bubbles” and are moving at the lowest rate on record, exasperated by the lack of construction to meet demand. A blend of short-term regulation changes and long-term insight begin to point society in the right direction towards change.
Ark Law Group asked students to discuss some of the causes and propose some resolutions to the American housing shortage as part of the most recent Student Voices Scholarship essay contest. Yasmine Ahkami cited the Wall Street Journal article that spoke to the scope of the issue, now recognizing over 22 states in the country not having houses being built quickly enough to meet demand. Yasmine discusses the importance of local analytics to provide “a more nuanced look at the interplay between housing regulations, income levels, zoning laws, and the demographics of a particular area” in order to appropriately pinpoint the most effective resolutions.