Affordable Housing Shortage Spells Crisis For Atlanta HBCUs

Students at the esteemed HBCUs within the Atlanta University Center are facing a problem outside everyday school woes: Where they will sleep?

As an affordable housing shortage risks the ability for students to live where they within or near the area, the administrations are rushing to find solutions.

As rent rises everywhere, especially in the Georgia capital, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed that schools, such as Morehouse, lack sufficient housing for their student body. The all-male institution can only house 1,400 students but has more than 2,000 attendees. The schools often use a housing draft to ensure fairness in regards to students having a chance to have a bed on-campus, but it leaves a significant number of scholars left to their own devices if they don’t make the cut.

However, those who get selected in the draft still face significant on-campus living costs. On Spelman College’s official website, the fees for housing for an academic year is over $16,000. Morehouse, its brother institution, has fees only slightly lower—approximately $14,000.

The shortage and costliness of housing led to student protest last fall, but the results it incurred were not enough to provoke long-term change. To make matters worse, more popular HBCUs are expecting an increase in applicants in the next few years, potentially doubling the already growing number of interested students.

There are plans for housing that will accommodate a vast majority, if not all,  of Morehouse’s student body. However, those facilities won’t be completed for a few years, according to Dean Kevin Booker.

Attendees and their support systems are not giving up on their fight to make their matriculation not break the bank. Davida Morgan Washington, a mother of a Morehouse student, is president of the college’s Parent Council. They are advocating for the school to foster new plans with the city’s inclusion so that all students can have viable housing options.

“When you start to think about Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman, we need to take some of this space and build dorms high up,” shared Washington. “That needs to be a fundraising priority so that we can house all these students that we don’t wanna turn away.”