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Navigating the Young Adult Housing Crisis Effectively

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Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Miranda Zavala
College student homeless

Written By Miranda Zavala  |  College, News  |  0 Comments | April 9, 2024

With rent prices hitting the roof and finding an affordable place becoming a needle-in-a-haystack situation, young adults face a tough challenge when it comes to housing. This situation involves student debt and challenges in the job market. We can make positive changes by making informed decisions and working together to help solve this young adult housing crisis.

Table Of Contents:

The Reality of the Young Adult Housing Crisis

Understanding Youth Homelessness

The harsh reality is that 755,000 youth (ages 14-18) and 513,000 young adults (ages 19-25) received federal housing assistance in 2021 alone. These young people tend to have low incomes and are less likely to live in metropolitan areas. Shockingly, 11% were experiencing homelessness at the time of their admission into housing. 

Student Debt 

Young adults often experience tension and apprehension during the transition into adulthood. The burden of student debt makes it challenging for young adults to secure stable, affordable housing. The combination of low incomes, high housing costs, and student loan payments creates an issue for many young people.

Underlying Causes of Youth Homelessness

Interaction with Justice Systems

Involvement with the justice system is another risk factor for youth homelessness. Young people who have been involved with the juvenile or criminal justice systems often face barriers to securing stable housing upon release.

This may result from inadequate support systems, scarce job prospects, and the stigma attached to having a criminal record. Without sufficient assistance and resources, these youths face an increased risk of homelessness and housing instability.

Mental Health and Drug Use 

Mental health issues and drug use can both contribute to and be exacerbated by youth homelessness. Numerous people experiencing homelessness have encountered trauma both before and following their homelessness making them vulnerable.

Homelessness has a greater impact on LGBTQ+ youth, youth who are expecting or already have children, and racial and ethnic minority groups. These individuals often face additional challenges in securing safe housing and accessing support for addressing mental well-being and drug use concerns.

Housing Challenges Faced by College Students

Housing Costs in California

College students in California face unique housing challenges, particularly in urban areas where housing costs have skyrocketed. 

A 23-year-old student from a low-income background shared his struggle, saying, “I’m 23 years old and I can’t afford the rent, the rent is too damn high. You have new developments that are being built that are going for $2,000 or $3,000 a month. But if you’re from a low-income background and you’re graduating college, you have no resources.”

The shortage of housing options in California’s cities puts an immense strain on college students and recent graduates, forcing them to choose between paying for housing and other essential expenses.

Education Costs and Living Expenses

For college students in California, juggling the costs of their education with day-to-day living expenses is no small feat. Students are often surprised things have worked out for them considering expenses can be so high.

Programs are underfunded, and teenagers face challenges in accessing the necessary services to avoid homelessness. This leaves many college students trying to juggle the demands of their education with the need to secure affordable housing in an increasingly expensive market.

Addressing the Young Adult Housing Crisis

Housing Programs

A big part of solving the housing pinch for young folks is really getting behind affordable housing programs. Broadening current initiatives like those assisting foster youth or supporting individuals with children can enhance protective measures and lower the risk of housing instability and homelessness.

By focusing on activities that strengthen family ties and support networks, these programs can help young people find housing options that are secure and affordable. 

Implementing Rapid Re-Housing Strategies

Rapid re-housing focuses on quickly moving individuals and families experiencing homelessness into permanent housing, providing them with support to maintain stability and avoid returning to homelessness.

By giving priority to the most at-risk youth who require intensive support, rapid re-housing initiatives can assist young adults in effectively leaving homelessness behind and moving into secure, affordable housing situations.

Increasing Support Service Access

Besides finding a place to live, young adults who don’t have a home often need lots of other help tailored to what they’re going through. This may include education and employment supports, as well as low-barrier short- and long-term housing options.

By supporting communities, we can foster partnerships and collaboration between schools, child welfare agencies, and other care systems. This can help us create connections and support networks for young people, which lets us identify those at risk of experiencing a housing crisis and help them get the resources to maintain stable housing.

Key Takeaway: 

Young adults face challenges securing housing due to low incomes, high expenses, and student loan debt. One way to tackle this is by stepping up efforts to make housing more affordable, using quick re-housing methods, and making support services more accessible.


The journey through the maze of young adult housing crisis isn’t straightforward. But it’s far from hopeless. 

We’ve seen that with smart strategies like promoting affordable housing programs and increasing access to support services, there is light at the end of this tunnel. It’s about making things easier for us; think smart assistants in technology quietly revolutionizing our day-to-day life without fanfare—that’s what we aim for in tackling youth homelessness too.

We’re not simply speaking casually; for countless individuals striving to establish themselves, this is their daily reality.

Student Hires is on a journey to create a network of enriching student opportunities. Whether that means helping them find resources or even just providing them with valuable job opportunities. 

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Miranda Zavala

About Miranda Zavala

Miranda Zavala is currently a student at California State University of San Bernardino earning her degree in Design with a concentration in marketing. Miranda enjoys inspiring students, and helping them find their passion just like her.

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