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Problem Analysis

Statement of Problem: People cannot afford to live where they study or work, so they spend huge amounts of wasted time traveling back and forth to school or work, causing unnecessary stress.

Actors, causes and influences on this problem:

Rent is rising very rapidly in Takoma Park, so that people who study or work here need to find a place to live that is sometimes far away. The actors in this situation are –

Landlords

Tenants

Thieves who break into apartments

Colleges

Takoma Park employers

I have a very close personal experience with this situation. A thief broke into my apartment in Takoma Park and stole many valuables. I no longer felt safe in this apartment and I needed to move. There was no affordable place I could find. I work part-time and study part-time. I work 28 hours per week and get paid $10/hour. These funds need to cover all of my expenses and that can sometimes be impossible.

I currently live temporarily in Baltimore and commute to Takoma Park every day. This takes more than two hours each way by public transportation. So each day I lose four hours to transportation. I am no able to study when I’m on the train because other people are noisy and the train motion makes me car sick when I read. Thankfully, some of my professors have been accommodating to my travel needs so that I don’t get home after midnight when I have an evening class.

I carefully noticed how some professors require students to submit a doctor’s note when they need to be absent. To my mind, this shows a lack of trust in students and diminishes their dignity. College is supposed to be a time of empowerment, not diminished dignity. Professors should probably show more empathy to students because otherwise they are teaching a bitter lesson in privilege.

Rents continue going up. This is caused by inflation, but also perhaps by greed on the part of landlords. I have heard that rents sometimes rise by 25 percent in a single year in some apartment buildings. That is unfair and unconscionable. Finding a new apartment and moving to a new apartment is immensely stressful. Landlords know this and they sometimes exploit the vulnerabilities of tenants in this way. Also, tenants are not able to negotiate rent increases very well. They do not possess the same power as landlords.

Another influence on this problem is the gentrification of Takoma Park. Gentrification means that wealthier people are moving here and they are pushing out lower income families. Takoma Park today is very different than Takoma Park fifty years ago. Landlords sometimes renovate buildings and then they charge tenants more rent and the tenant makes no choice about whether they wanted the building renovated. The Takoma Park government city taxes also keep rising, so the landlords are forced to raise rents to pay the higher taxes.

Recommended course of action:

Students enrolled in colleges in Takoma Park ought to receive a rental coupon or voucher so that they can afford to live where they study. This coupon or voucher could even be in the form of a loan that students pay back after they have worked for six months following graduation. Landlords who accept rental coupons or vouchers might be given certain privileges of benefits by the local government, including discounted rentals of the gorgeous new auditorium in the Takoma Park Community Center.

Professor feedback ,

The report is not organized. It is written as an essay rather than a report. It is missing all the required parts of the analysis report. You also don’t dig into cause or effect; your information is stuck in situation. You bounce among several ideas without connections. You offer weak explanations. The formatting is inconsistent

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