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PBS高端访谈:美国住房短缺问题有了新办法

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JUDY WOODRUFF: Cities across the country are struggling with a shortage of housing. But there are millions of spare bedrooms. As Stephanie Leydon from PBS station WGBH explains, Boston has become a launching pad for a new technology that connects people looking for affordable rent with homeowners who have space to spare.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: Before she started her graduate program in public health, Abby Herbst got a crash course in math. There are too few apartments for too many people in Boston.

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ABBY HERBST, Graduate Student: I called actually a real estate agent. And they wouldn't take me as a client, basically, I didn't have the budget for a regular place. And I was looking farther and farther outside the city.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: But she found a place just a 20-minute walk from campus in this townhouse complete with a furnished bedroom, fully equipped kitchen, and the homeowner, Brenda Atchison.

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BRENDA ATCHISON, Homeowner: We fell in together very well and very smoothly.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: They met online through a home-sharing Web site called Nesterly, designed to connect two generations with compatible needs: older people who want to stay in their homes, but need help.

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BRENDA ATCHISON: Twelve-foot ceilings, it's a little hard to heat in the wintertime. So a little extra doesn't hurt.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: And younger people who need a place to live. Herbst pays $650 a month, less than half the cost of studio. And she does chores.

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ABBY HERBST: Like, I take out the trash, the snow shoveling.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: The home-sharing idea came to Noelle Marcus while she was living in Boston.

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NOELLE MARCUS, Founder, Nesterly: It was really, really expensive to find housing while I was in graduate school there.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: She's now based here in New York.

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NOELLE MARCUS: I think the average one-bedroom in New York is over $3,000.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: Maybe worse than Boston.

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NOELLE MARCUS: Worse than Boston.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: She says cities across the country face an affordability crisis fueled by the same trends: a limited housing supply and an aging population of homeowners.

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NOELLE MARCUS: We have had over 6,000 people reach out to us from 280 different cities around the world and tell us that they want us to expand to their city.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: Which is her goal. For now, Nesterly is available in the Boston area only. People have always rented extra rooms in their homes, right? So why do they need Nesterly?

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NOELLE MARCUS: Yes. So according to AARP, 40 percent of over 45-year-olds say they're interested in renting out a room in their home, but today only 2 percent are doing it. And we think that's because the right product and the right service didn't exist.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: Nesterly offers background checks, a payment system and ongoing support. A one-time housing aide to New York's mayor, Marcus sees the platform as way to ease the housing shortage and a problem that plagues old and young alike, loneliness.

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ABBY HERBST: People don't talk about it a lot. And I didn't actually anticipate it before I came to college, but, like, I had never eaten meals alone in high school before. If I feel like a little bit lonely or like I want to talk to somebody, I just come downstairs and sit in the kitchen.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: Where she and Atchison both find a perspective they couldn't get from a peer.

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BRENDA ATCHISON: And you just never know. You just never know what you're going to talk about.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: That older and younger people enrich one another's lives isn't a surprise to Noelle Marcus. She moved from Boston to New York mainly to be close to her grandmother.

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NOELLE MARCUS: She's 89, and she's one of my best friends.

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STEPHANIE LEYDON: An inspiration for a housing innovation that helps two generations under one roof. For the PBS NewsHour, I'm Stephanie Leydon in Boston.

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重点单词   查看全部解释    
affordable [ə'fɔ:dəbl]

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adj. 支付得起的,不太昂贵的

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kitchen ['kitʃin]

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n. 厨房,(全套)炊具,灶间

 
innovation [.inəu'veiʃən]

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n. 创新,革新

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supply [sə'plai]

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n. 补给,供给,供应,贮备
vt. 补给,供

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peer [piə]

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n. 同等的人,同辈,贵族
vi. 凝视,窥视

 
fell [fel]

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动词fall的过去式
n. 兽皮
v

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available [ə'veiləbl]

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adj. 可用的,可得到的,有用的,有效的

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anticipate [æn'tisipeit]

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vt. 预期,抢 ... 前,语言,提前使用

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population [.pɔpju'leiʃən]

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n. 人口 ,(全体)居民,人数

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expand [iks'pænd]

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v. 增加,详述,扩展,使 ... 膨胀,
v

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