The Millennial Village

Presenter: Chris Marciano

Research Category: Humanities and Arts
Student Type: Graduate
Additional Authors: Ryan Matthew, Mark Munroe
PI: Barry Bluestone
Award: Innovation
Award Winner Category: Humanities and Arts

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The Greater Boston area has seen the price of apartment rentals increase, each year, since 2003 regardless of the economic state. Accordingly, Boston now ranks as the third most expensive city in the United States in terms of average monthly rent. The cost of living is simply too high for the city’s recent-graduate population, resulting in a loss of 48% of this demographic. New forms of housing (such as Micro Lofts) must be at the forefront of this discussion. When combined with innovation in modular construction techniques, the rental price experienced by the end-user can be alleviated.

The issues surrounding retention begin while students are still enrolled: currently, only 8% of all graduate students in Boston are housed on-campus. These institutions are simply not supplying students with sufficient housing. This fact has many students occupying the legacy housing stock originally intended for working families, and thus they are out-pricing this older demographic.

The solution: The Millennial Village; a housing development of Micro Lofts for graduate students and young professionals, master leased by a select group of local institutions. The idea is that universities must do more to responsibly house their graduate students while keeping their own developmental risk low. By implementing a master lease policy, the risk is shared by the institutions involved. The demographic we seek to retain contributes enormously to the region’s overall prosperity and will play a critical role in the longevity of the local economy.