Julia Freybote


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Publication Date

Fall 8-20-2021


Real estate investment, Low-income housing, Engineering -- Management -- Economic aspects, College attendance


College is becoming more and more expensive, and students are graduating with more and more debt. In 2021, we have almost 1.6 trillion dollars of student loan debt. While students are in college, they need a place to live, and this project will be about how to develop a strategy for creating affordable student housing solutions.

Housing should not be another cause of concern to students or really anyone.

The way it’s done is that people get more loans to pay for housing, or they work as much as they can when they’re not studying to pay for rent. Affordable housing isn’t really existent. Sometimes, we can consider affordable is usually done with government manipulation with price controls, but ultimately this causes investors, builders, and developers to run away, making the problem even worse.

My solution is rooted in creating profitable affordable housing. According to economic theory, supply and demand determine the price of goods and services. To decrease the price, we increase the supply. My solution intends to increase the supply of housing in the market to create competition and lower the prices of other housing.

My solution doesn’t rely on government or subsidies of any kind. It relies on the invisible hand of visible hard work to create the technology and build the solutions to fix this problem.

The approach is based on three pillars:

  1. Profitability: to attract developers and investors to make it happen.

  2. Building: we will be using cheap housing that could be installed in one day.

  3. Curiosityland: People will come for the prices, and stay for Curiosityland, which is a community of determined builders with spaces for innovation like labs, 3D printing, etc. But also a place to actually have fun.

People have three basic needs composed of food, healthcare, and housing. Everyone needs to have those three in order to have a basic human life. Housing is one of these problems, our world needs to solve to create more equity and common good among ourselves. I’m starting with college housing because it’s a problem I’m facing, a problem I want to solve, and a problem I want others to never even think about.

I will work with my blood, sweat, and tears to make this possible, and when it becomes successful, I want to make this solution widespread across college campuses. Then, we can start using this solution to solve homelessness and create a more equitable in the U.S., and the world.

But now, we start with college housing on my very own college campus in Urbana-Champaign. I hope you can join me.


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altREU podcast Transcript.pdf (246 kB)

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