FYP and community activists work to address the housing crisis
EASTERN SHORE, Md. – The housing crisis continues in Wicomico County but now some organizations are trying to help, and one is even focusing on the county’s young adults.
Dorien Rogers with the Salisbury University NAACP chapters tells us, he’s seeing more and more students struggling to find off-campus housing while they pursue their education. “We’re not really educated on how to make those strategic decisions when it comes to where to live,” says Rogers. He adds, “When we do have to go down that route, you know, it’s easy to get taken advantage of.”
Rogers says these young adults are in a transitional period in their lives. “We tend to see an inequity when it comes to how much resources are being allocated to people that are seeking homes and apartments, and what it is that they’re signing,” he says. Rogers tells us some students are complaining about off-campus housing options lacking when it comes to accountability, maintenance, or even contracts; he says safe housing shouldn’t be a negotiation. He adds, “What are we doing consciously to ensure that it’s embedded within our education in our politics and within our communities because it is a basic need? And just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it, isn’t there.”
It’s not just students experiencing this housing crisis either, we’re told it’s young adults and families. That’s why organizations like the Fenix Youth Project say they have their boots on the ground to make sure people get the basic necessity, a home.
“The lower shore is not excluded from housing discrimination, income-based discrimination, and even racial and sexual identity discrimination when it comes to those who are looking for housing,” says Amber Green, Executive Director at the Fenix Youth Project. Green tells 47 ABC, they’re hosting a housing search support group to better assist young adults in finding housing and deal with this ongoing issue.
She says, between unreasonable prices and the stigma placed on those needing housing assistance, it’s a hamster wheel a lot of young adults can’t escape. “It’s no tenants versus landlords, we have to get to the point where we’re working together to help house those who need the most help,” says Green.
Green also tells us, it’s going to take more than just her work to do something about it, it’ll take the work of local leaders. “If your business practice does not reflect the persona you’re putting out to the community, then you need to reevaluate your position in leadership.”
The Fenix Youth Project‘s “Housing Search Support Group” will take place at their drop-in center at 239 Florida Ave. in Salisbury every Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Green says it’s for those 18 to 25 years old, but they can help anyone in need of housing.