Friday, October 15, 2021

California raises another 500 million for student accommodation: ‘a drop in the bucket’

By Mikhail Kinstein, CalMatters

Free tuition is great, and California is better than any other part of the country. But skyrocketing rent, affordable housing has become a major expense for most students – and relief is hard to come by.

Lawmakers have a plan for this: they have poured $ 500 million into this year’s state budget so that public colleges and universities can build affordable housing or renovate existing property.

The plan – part of a দুই 2 billion pledge in three years, if the legislature finances it in full – may seem like a huge sum, but the amount of money it can create housing is probably a circular flaw in the state’s total student needs.

“It’s a drop in the bucket, but every drop counts,” said Dana Koff, a UCLA professor at the Urban Design Research Center and director of CityLab.

The housing program that lawmakers approved last week and which is awaiting the signature of Governor Gavin News is new – part of the pile of surplus cash in this year’s state budget. The governor initially proposed billions of dollars for student housing but it was cut in half during negotiations with the legislature. Agreement:

  • Creates a grant process that colleges apply for, pays 50% at community colleges, 30% at California State University and 20% at the University of California;
  • Caps for low-income students in low-middle-income percentages in rental areas. In Los Angeles, the monthly rent per student will be $ 700;
  • That said, the money is only for full-time students, which excludes most community college students by default.

If full-time needs slow down the application of community colleges, “we can adjust in the future,” said Oakland Democrat and state senator Nancy Skinner, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

The legislature will need another law to change the terms of the housing program, but he does not deny that the promise of cheaper rent could force more community college students to become full-time admissions if they receive money on their campus. A full-time schedule means graduating quickly, but often students may not be able to attend many classes due to work constraints.

The argument for more student housing is a political no-brainer শুধুমাত্র only one Republican lawmaker did not vote on this measure. HD Palmer, a spokesman for Newsom’s finance department, said it “relieves students of the pressure of housing costs and at the same time increases supply around universities and helps improve housing affordability in the area in general.”

But the housing problem surrounding all of higher education has become a problem for elementary-school math: it costs a lot to build a house for students, reasonably requires affordable units for several thousand students, and adds to the amount that many more states are offering their housing plans.

The extent of the housing problem

Surveys show that a large number of students lack reliable accommodation options, which means they stay in cars, couch-surf, stay with family temporarily or look for other options that make their lives unstable একটি a terrible recipe for doing well in school.

According to a 2019 survey by the California Student Aid Commission, more than a third of students reported some version of housing insecurity in California. But it masks the scope of the quarrel depending on the student. More than half of community college students in Los Angeles face housing insecurity, according to a 2016 survey. Community college students are often older and have lower incomes, so their economic and social security nets are more yarned. But even at the University of California, 16% of those surveyed were homeless and 6% of students who received federal aid grants because of their low-income status were homeless.

UC had 100,000 beds for students last fall and expects to create 25,000 more seats by 2025, but the system admits 285,000 students. (Although not every student wants it without student accommodation.)

The scale is large. So is the price tag for all those students.

The cost of single student accommodation

Cost of Student Accommodation It is difficult to calculate how much it costs to build a unit. Some arrangements look at the price per bed, which reduces the average cost because it costs one-third of a student’s stay in a room to accommodate three students.

“We don’t calculate the cost per bed,” said Palmer of Newsom’s finance department.

Cal State System 1 2014. and spent billions of dollars to build enough units to accommodate 12,800 students between 2014 and 2020, at a cost of about, 100,000 – a huge increase in the cost of building supplies, which is probably higher today. The system calculated that it had 17,700 students who needed “unmatched” accommodation.

All of these figures cost $ 1.8 billion to build the units alone, Cal Cal said it needed.

But the new round of student housing money from the state to Cal State is only 30% of the total $ 2 billion, or 600 600 million – which is probably much less than what is probably needed to meet student needs.

A housing project at UCLA that is expected to provide 1,159 beds by next year is estimated to cost বি 180,000 per bed. The ইউ 2 billion pool would get 20% of the entire UC system, much less than covering these two structures.

And by using statistics for dormitories it is possible that housing underestimates the actual cost of students, Cuff said. Because many students are older and with families, especially in community colleges. That family needs more space and facilities, such as a kitchen. In that case, the units would be close to the cost of cities spending on affordable housing, which in 2016 averaged 42 425,000 per unit.

But since colleges can build on the land they own, especially community colleges where more space is available, the main cost of building a home – buying land – will go away.

There has been some controversy within the UC that the system should have received a large chunk of state funding, as it has a large housing program and could operate quickly.

Lawmakers left the door open to finance a housing plan for multiple students in three state systems.

Student accommodation will be a new initiative for most community colleges, which don’t usually run in dorms. The 116 community colleges in California provide about a dozen accommodations, suggesting that the system has less experience in home-building. The state-funded housing program is expected to set aside up to 25 25 million that community colleges could use for planning, such as legal fees and engineering studies.

“I very much hope that in the first year we won’t see offers from community colleges or so,” Skinner said.

Instead, the plans will come from Cal States and UC who have more experience in housing development.

“Community colleges were envisioned to get housing from their neighborhoods,” Cuff said. But as rents and land prices rise, colleges need to build housing for their students to build community.

Pavo Monkonen, a professor of urban planning at UCLA, said it was also a good use of state funds. Unlike grant money or financial aid, housing is a one-time expense that pays dividends because it can be used repeatedly.

But of course the state needs more housing, otherwise the units built with this new money could turn into a lottery system where only the lucky few get discount units. “A good arrangement would be one where there are long-term plans to increase the stock, anyone who wants to stay there,” he said.

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