The Southern California-based Orange County Register featured a story Friday entitled “Why millennials living with their parents has become the norm in Southern California.” MPC President Jimmy Sengenberger offered perspective for the piece, written by reporter Ian Wheeler:
“Millennials aren’t skeptical about home ownership, but they are concerned about the financial viability of buying one, said Jimmy Sengenberger, chief executive of the Millennial Policy Center, a think tank that studies generational issues.
“Many millennials are hesitant to take on a financial obligation as significant as home ownership when repaying student loan debt is already such a burden, wages aren’t growing, and the job market is still relatively weak for younger people,” Sengenberger said via email. He pointed to something unexpected – zoning policies – that help keep housing stocks low and rent prices high in the kind of urban markets that dominate Southern California.
Another issue that might be keeping young adults at home is student debt.
During an era when it’s been tough for young adults to break into the labor force, the price of college has exploded – and resources to pay for those degrees haven’t kept pace.
“(Young adults are) compelled to get more schooling than they did in the past,” said Furstenberg. “But, paradoxically, public support for education has dwindled. There’s a much higher expectation that it’s up to the family to shoulder the burden.”
Furstenberg, noting that California already subsidizes community colleges, said he supported former President Barack Obama’s 2015 proposal to make two years of community college free for aspiring students.
Segenberger’s conservative Millennial Policy Center contends the opposite. He believes the cost of higher education has skyrocketed because of too much government involvement in offsetting tuition. Culling various student loan programs, grants and tax credits, and reforming accreditation, he said, would better allow market forces to lower costs.