Urban Fold

AIA Pushes for Architecture Peace Corps

The AIA is pushing Congress to establish an AmeriCorps-like program for young architects. With the potential for aiding underserved communities, reducing student loans, and providing recent grads with real-world experience, what's not to like?

"Public service loan assistance programs have for decades been a driving force in attracting talent to some of America’s neediest and underserved regions and sectors of the economy," writes Shervan A. Sebastian, manager of the American Insitute of Architects' (AIA) federal relations.

"The AIA is proposing legislation that offers architecture school graduates loan re-payment assistance opportunities similar to those offered to graduates of other professions who contribute their services to their communities. The National Design Services Act (NDSA) [PDF] provides student loan assistance for architects who work at community design centers by securing grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reduce loan balances of participating students."

"It’s a model that has worked with AmeriCorps," he adds, "and, with some variation, in other professions as well. It’s time to ensure that the high cost of an architectural degree can be aided and supported through young architects’ willingness and ability to restore and repair communities in need."

Full Story: Proposal Combines Student Debt Relief with Community Design Support

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