Resources for Students Experiencing Housing Insecurity

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What is housing insecurity?

According to Wisconsin's HOPE Lab, housing insecurity is defined as "includes a broader set of challenges such as the inability to pay rent or utilities or the need to move frequently. All of these challenges affect students, and the results this year suggest that it is more common to endure them during college than to have all of one’s needs met." Homelessness is defined as "a person is without a place to live, often residing in a shelter, an automobile, an abandoned building or outside."

Across the nation, the HOPE Lab found that 36% of university students were housing insecure within the last year. They found that 9% of university students were homeless, and 16% of university students experience both food and housing insecurity.

Click here to visit the Wisconsin HOPE Lab's "Still Hungry and Homeless" report.

To learn how SIU can help provide you resources to combat housing insecurity, file a Saluki Cares report here.

Am I housing insecure or homeless?

If you identify with any of the following statements, you may qualify for housing insecurity aid. 

  • I did not (or cannot) pay the full amount for utilities.
  • I had a rent or mortgage increase that made it difficult to pay the full amount.
  • I did not pay the full amount of rent or mortgage payments.
  • I moved in with others, even temporarily, due to financial problems.
  • I lived with others beyond the expected capacity of the housing unit. (ex. 6 people sleeping in a 2-bedroom apartment)
  • I don't know where I will sleep, even if it is for only one night.
  • I don't feel physically or mentally safe in my current living situation.
  • I have been thrown out of or evicted from my home.
  • I stay in abandoned buildings, live out of my car, or stay in another place that was not meant to accommodate housing needs.

If students qualify under the "homeless student" definition listed below, they may be eligible to have break housing provided to them free of charge. Students must qualify as determined by Saluki Cares to receive aid provided by University Housing.

Undergraduate, graduate, and international students who are experiencing housing insecurity (or could experience housing insecurity) can file a Saluki Cares report here.

"Homeless Student" definition by Illinois Law

"Student experiencing homelessness" or "homeless student" means an individual enrolled in an institution who lacks or is at imminent risk of lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or whose parent or legal guardian is unable or unwilling to provide shelter and care and includes a homeless individual as defined under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. For the purposes of this definition, the term "fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence" does not include residence in an institution of higher education's on-campus housing. 
(Source: P.A. 102-83, eff. 8-1-22.)

Click here to view the full Higher Education Housing and Opportunities Act.

To learn how SIU can help provide you resources to combat housing insecurity, file a Saluki Cares report here.