Housing Complex

What Interns Can Pay $1416 a Month for Housing?

New intern housing under construction. (from Paradigm Companies)

New intern housing under construction. (from Paradigm Companies)

Hey D.C.–It's intern season! They'll be filtering in by the thousands over the next few weeks, and I'd advise finding someplace other than McFaddens or the Hawk 'n Dove to hang out on Friday nights.

Lately, though, there's been more talk about the sometimes exploitative and potentially illegal nature of this modern form of indentured servitude. Beyond the hardship of putting in long hours for no money, there's also the burden of finding somewhere to live near your desired place of employment. Kids coming to work on the Hill or some D.C. non-profit can take their chances on Craigslist, but the easiest thing to do is sign up for summer housing at one of the local universities, putting them in close proximity to the rest of the interning hordes.

Of course, convenience comes with a price. At George Washington, you'll pay between $231 and $329 per week, depending on how many people you want to live with, amounting to a rough monthly rate of $924 – $1,316. Georgetown charges a flat rate of $256 per week, which puts you at $1,024. Which seems a little steep for living in dorms, especially when there are sublets to be had just a little ways up the Green Line for $800 or les.

The most egregious example, however, is Washington Center's just-completed intern housing building, which offers 94 units and 348 beds at $354 per week, or $1,416 per month. And this is a program that college students are already paying for. Certainly, ambitious young folks are entitled to live in comfort if they've got the dough, but Housing Complex would probably find a much nicer studio on Capitol Hill for that kind of rent.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    Three words, 'Trust Fund Babbies'!

  • Native JD in DC

    How about we call interns the illegal labor that they are and Congress put some of us to work at the living wages DC demands?

  • CJ

    I interned with the Washington Center last summer - the program is in fact quite expensive, but the program is often coverred under one's tuition - this means it's elligible for student loans. They also have a (meager) scholarship that covers less than one month's "rent". The cost of the program is due up front. Interns don't pay their rent monthly. We were housed in Rockville for the summer - came to about $3000 for ten weeks in the town center. I haven't seen the new dorms, but the Fenestra apartments were very nice - and about 95 minutes from my work site.