The administration of New York University has come up with an interesting solution to help students afford housing, which, as you know, can be absurdly expensive. The new "intergenerational homestay" program will match students with older people living near campus who have a spare bedroom open. It's your average roommate situation, but where your roommate is closer in age to your grandma than to you.
The program is expected to start next fall, with 10 students in the pilot program. Chosen students can expect to save a massive amount on their housing—their costs will go from approximately $13,000 to about $5,000, according to The Guardian.
For some students, the idea of living with older people is not a problem. "I've loved living in an actual home and will miss it a lot next semester," NYU junior Morgan Sperry, who is currently living with a couple in their 60s while she studies abroad in Buenos Aires, told Seventeen.com. "For that reason, I would definitely consider living with an older New York City resident, both to save money and to reside in a warm, homey environment that's not a sterile dorm."
Kyla Bills, editor-in-chief of the NYU Local campus blog, describes the plan “a mostly symbolic gesture,” which won’t help enough students to be worthwhile.
"The main response on campus has really been, Who cares?" Bills said. "As it's only 10 students, it's such a small population of NYU that it's not greatly affecting an average NYU student's life."
While the program may be expanded in the future if it is successful, for now, at least 10 students will be able to benefit from saving on housing costs and living in a real home. NYU officials told the Guardian that lots of students and older people have expressed interest in the program, and they're excited to make this housing scheme happen, as strange as it may seem.