Hopeful tenants camp out overnight for affordable housing in Madison
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Dozens of people were seen camping outside along Monroe St. early Friday morning in Madison, hoping to secure affordable housing for next year.
Within the line of tents, sleeping bags, and blankets, some UW-Madison students say they are waiting for J Michael Real Estate to open at 9 a.m. Hopeful tenants say they started lining up almost 24 hours before then because Friday is the first day applications are accepted and it’s on a first come, first serve basis.
Courtney Yungerman, a sophomore at UW-Madison, says this is their last opportunity to find housing near campus that fits within their budget. She also says the people waiting in line to turn in their applications is an indication of how highly coveted housing is in Madison, especially for students on or near campus.
Sophomore Natalie Todd voiced her concerns over pricing as well as the overall competitiveness for housing being worse than last year.
“It’s been really competitive this year. Like my freshman year last year, we didn’t look for housing until like November and we were fine. And now it’s super competitive this year, and everyone’s jacking up their prices… and we saw this place and the price was nice for us, four bedrooms so we jumped on it,” she said.
Many students reported that people had begun lining up by 10 a.m. Thursday, making several of them worried and frustrated about getting an apartment for the next school year.
“Definitely worried, and a little frustrated,” said Sophie Wellmann, a sophomore at UW-Madison. “I mean you wouldn’t expect people to be here at 10 a.m. yesterday. I mean, 8 p.m. I can see, like being here that early but definitely not 10 a.m.
Wellmann also voiced the amount of time going into finding housing and how difficult it can be to make time for the process.
“There’s not a lot of options when it comes to housing or if there is it’s harder to find, especially as a college student,” she explained. “You don’t have a lot of time on your hands - especially if you’re working a job or taking classes, and so then on top of that trying to find housing is really difficult.”
Wellmann and her hopeful roommates joined the line at approximately 6:15 a.m. Friday morning, swaddled in blankets and clutching coffee cups to stay warm.
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