AUSTIN, Texas — A survey done by students at Austin Community College (ACC) shows affordable housing is a serious issue near ACC campuses, and students are trying to do something about it.
The survey was conducted by the Student Welfare Committee, part of the Student Government Association. The data that came out of the survey from more than 500 students showed 71% of students worry about paying rent, 61% faced housing insecurity, 12% reported that they have faced homelessness and 11% have faced eviction.
“It is affecting so many people and a lot of people are suffering in silence right now,” said SGA president Kay Trent.
Trent said they would like to see more affordable housing near some of the ACC campuses. She said SGA members have gone to the board of trustees at ACC and tried reaching out to City of Austin leaders.
“I just hope that something comes of it, and it is not just a ACC thing, it’s the city right? Its everybody working together to figure something out and trying to figure out how to navigate this,” said Trent.
ACC issued a statement saying in part, "we want our students to be able to afford to live in Austin. The college has already started working directly with SGA and will continue to meet regularly to find ways to implement support for finding affordable housing."
The college also said the amount of financial aid dispersed by ACC has increased about 48% over the past five years, from $62 million disbursed in financial aid in 2016-17 to $92 million in 2020-21. The average student award increased more than 40% to $6,300.
As for Trent, she said the college has been supportive and this is something she will keep working on.
"We are going to keep pushing this as far as we need to go to get some help," said Trent.
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