A group of high school students in Oakland County, Michigan, are learning valuable construction skills while helping to address the affordable housing shortage in their state. The students are part of a program called Oakland Schools Technical Campus (OSTC), which offers career and technical education in various fields.Embed from Getty Images
The students have built a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Pontiac, Michigan, that will be sold to a low-income family through Habitat for Humanity. The house is one of four that the students have built since 2018, and the first one to be completed this year.
The project is a collaboration between OSTC, Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County, and the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan. The students work under the supervision of instructors and industry professionals, who provide them with hands-on training and mentorship.
The students say they enjoy the experience of building a home from scratch and making a difference in their community. “It feels good to know that we’re helping someone out,” said Tyler Smith, a senior at OSTC. “We’re not just building a house, we’re building a home.”
The project also benefits the local economy and the environment. The house is energy-efficient and uses materials donated by local businesses. The project creates jobs for contractors and suppliers, and helps revitalize the neighborhood.
The affordable housing crisis is a nationwide problem that affects millions of Americans. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there is a shortage of 7 million affordable rental homes for extremely low-income renters. In Michigan, there are only 36 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income renter households.
The OSTC students hope their project will inspire others to get involved in building affordable homes and creating opportunities for low-income families. “We’re not just learning skills, we’re learning how to be good citizens,” said Smith.
- Oakland Schools students build home, aid affordable housing | WXYZ | May 24, 2023
- Students build home for Habitat for Humanity in Pontiac | The Oakland Press | May 22, 2023
- How high schoolers are tackling the affordable housing crisis | CNN | May 20, 2023