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UC Santa Cruz asks staff to rent rooms to students due to housing shortage

A housing crisis has prompted University of California, Santa Cruz officials to ask faculty and staff to consider renting rooms to students.

UC Santa Cruz admitted thousands of additional students this year after being harshly criticized for not admitting enough students. Starting in mid-September, nearly 20,000 students will be arrived for the start of the fall quarter.

Now, the annual problem of students finding a place to live is worse, with hundreds of students on waitlists for campus housing.

In an email to around 6,000 UC Santa Cruz faculty and staff members, Executive Director of Housing Services David Keller stated that there are currently “several hundred students without housing guarantees on the waiting list for housing.”

With no place for them to go, the university has asked the community to consider renting out open rooms to students.

“Right now we’re in a two bedroom house and there are six people living in there, so no free space at all and it’s still $500 a month for each of us. It’s all bad all around for everyone, all bad,” said UCSC student Cullen Reilly.

“Santa Cruz is a beautiful coastal community that is exceptionally desirable for lots of people. Obviously, students are taking up some of the rental space in the community, but there have been a lot of other factors that influenced the local market as well,” said Scott Hernandez-Jason, Director of New and Media Relations, University of California, Santa Cruz.

As rent in Silicon Valley skyrocketed over the past few years, people began to search for more affordable options in the Santa Cruz area, leading to an increased shortage.

“We’re looking to build new housing. There is a severe need for more housing, so we have a project in the works right now that would add 3,000 new beds to campus. Some of those would be replacing existing beds that would be torn down, but the net increase would be somewhere around 2,100 new beds. These would all be geared towards upper division students who would otherwise be living in the community,” said Scott Hernandez-Jason.

Unfortunately, it could be years before the rooms will be open to rent.

For now, University officials are encouraging community members to rent out open rooms to students.

“Earlier this week our housing director sent a message to the campus community, saying if you have an open room that you’re interested in renting. We encourage you to look to our community rentals
office. As a way to list it and market it towards students.”

Some students see this opportunity as a positive.

“I feel like it’s better to live within the community anyway. Like, I don’t know. It’s cheaper. It’s more affordable. You can go to the supermarket without spending 25 dollars on an Uber,” said Reilly.

UCSC says they are optimistic that offering a listing service to the community will open up more options for students as well as teaching them the ins and outs of renting.

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