Sunday, October 2, 2022

Due to housing shortage, UC San Diego students consider living in a car

With the influx of students on campus, more than two thousand University of California San Diego (UCSD) students are still on the waiting list for campus accommodation.

School apartments near the campus are very scarce, and some parents of students are considering letting their children sleep in RVs as a last resort.

In order to ensure the social distancing agreement during the pandemic, the University of California San Diego cancelled the three-person dormitory provided before this year and now only provides single and double rooms.

UCSD spokesperson Leslie Sepuka told The Epoch Times via email that the cancellation of the three-bedroom apartment reduced about 2,000 beds.

In the UCSD social media group for off-campus students, a user posted information about campervans living in parking lots around the campus. The author of the post said that his friend’s son could not find a place to live after returning to school, and his parents were considering buying him a camper van.

Several parents commented on the post, saying that they are considering the same solution.

Alicia Breton’s son is in his second year at the University of California, San Diego. During the COVID-19 outbreak last year, Brittany’s son moved home for distance learning. He is currently looking for a place to stay when he returns to school in the fall.

Breton said her son was happy to be back to school in person, but it was unexpectedly difficult to find housing.

“We found it difficult to find something, anything, let alone something affordable,” Breton told The Epoch Times.

“He is on the waiting list whether on campus or off campus,” she added. “We are on every waiting list in the apartment building, and every time there is a news release, he will reply immediately, but you know there are 30 replies in the first five minutes… so it’s almost like a lottery. “

“We heard that the student was looking for an RV; we have not found one nearby. This is definitely not ideal, but we are working hard to find any option to find a house for him,” Breton said. “It’s really a crisis now.”

As of August 23, there are still 2,133 UCSD students on the waiting list for on-campus accommodation. Among them, there are more than 1,500 undergraduates and nearly 560 master and doctoral students.

According to data provided by the school on August 19, among the 1,670 undergraduates waiting for on-campus accommodation, 1,268 are sophomores, and only about 70 freshmen are on the list.

UCSD’s new dormitory can’t keep up with demand

In addition to canceling three-bed dormitories, Brittany believes that the number of students enrolled at the University of California, San Diego is increasing every year, and the suspension of eviction orders has also exacerbated the shortage of student housing.

Over the past six years, the number of UCSD undergraduates has increased by 5,252, including 3,753 California residents, making it the fastest-growing branch of the University of California system.

According to Sepuka, the increase in the number of students was due to a national policy issued in 2015 requiring the University of California system to increase the number of students enrolled.

Sepka said that as the number of university admissions increases, the school is expanding its capacity accordingly. The newly completed North Torrey Pines campus added 2,000 beds to undergraduate students last year, filling the beds lost this year due to the cancellation of triple rooms.

According to the data provided by the school, UCSD has increased the housing capacity of undergraduates by about 5,000 beds in the 11 years since the fall of 2010, but the number of undergraduates has increased by more than 8,300 in the same period. The growth rate of dormitory beds has not kept up with the increase in the number of students.

UCSD continues to enroll undergraduate freshmen this year, including 40,616 freshmen and 12,330 transfer students from community colleges in the state. However, Sepuka stated that only about a quarter of admitted students received the offer letter and enrolled. The total number of undergraduates in the fall of 2021 is approximately 32,000, which is a few hundred more than last year.

Sepka said that the school’s off-campus housing office and other departments are providing assistance to students in need and helping students find stable housing.

The University of California San Diego cooperated with four local Marriott hotels to provide transitional accommodation for students. Students can stay in a double room with breakfast and Wi-Fi at a discounted rate, which costs approximately US$1,785 per person per month.

Tina Deng contributed to this report.

Jack Bradley is a daily news reporter for The Epoch Times in Southern California.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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