Having explored the complex causes, consequences, and a variety of possible solutions to Asheville’s current housing crisis, Franklin students in Jill Padfield’s Math III classes had the opportunity to apply math skills in a real world Affordable Housing Project.
Students were tasked with the challenge of selecting two homes currently for sale in the greater Asheville area: one above $200,000 dollars and one below that price. Subsequently, they computed down payments, mortgage costs, and interest rates, based on current statistics. They estimated, based on these numbers, what minimum salary they’d need to earn to afford monthly payments on these homes over a 30 year mortgage. Advanced students also calculated appreciation and depreciation over time, in order to anticipate cost benefits of selling these homes, not to mention the responsibility of on-going home-maintenance as home owners. They graphed their conclusions as part of their project presentations. Here are links to a couple of examples from students who presented this week:
Nikki Forbes’ Housing Project
Will Feehan’s Housing Project
Students shared their projects by presenting to 10th grade math students at The Franklin School of Innovation, who will soon be launching their own Expedition “The Times, They Are A’Changing.” The 9th graders will investigate issues related to sustainability in Asheville, from housing economics and gentrification to cost of living wage gaps to environmental issues of air quality and transportation; thus, the 11th grade project helps frame the purpose of the 9th grade Expedition.
Will Feehan, whose project was identified as an exemplar for this blogpost, had this to say after his presentation: “I really liked this project because it was meaningful and interesting. It was real and it made me think about how Asheville is changing. I think it made our whole class take look at how math can be used in the real world to make decisions about buying and selling homes, and it made us realize how much we’ll have to earn, down the road, in order to be a home owner.”
Note: 11th Graders continue to raise funds (and walls) as we build a Habitat for Humanity home in the Shiloh Community. Please stay tuned for future opportunities to participate in this student build collaboration with Asheville’s Habitat for Humanity and our partner family, Heidi Chapman and her two children, Max and Niko. We have 4 more Franklin School of Innovation student build days available for volunteer support, starting again in January, and significant fund-raising to do in support of Franklin’s contributions to this build. We are grateful to all who have contributed time, energy, and expertise on this 11th grade Expedition: Creating a New American Dream. Keep it real and join in the efforts to make a positive difference for equitable housing in Asheville.