California is not exempt from the plight of college students across the United States suffering housing shortages and high rent costs, AP reported.
California students have to pay high prices for dilapidated housing and have to spend a lot of time commuting to universities and, in many cases, having to sleep in their cars.
One of the main causes of this problem is that communities and homeowners filed lawsuits seeking to stop the construction of more housing due to environmental hazards.
According to INSIDE HIGHER ED, UC Berkeley will not have the enrollment cap for fall 2022, which a judge had imposed as the California legislature has pardoned it.
As a result, more students can access the university. Still, at the same time, it means many of them will have housing difficulties due to there not being enough on campus and the high cost of off-campus housing for students, according to INSIDE HIGHER ED.
For example, sophomore Terrell Thompson had to sleep for nearly two weeks in his car last fall because he couldn’t find an apartment that was within the price range he could afford.
“Academically it was hard, because I’m worried about finding housing and I’m worried about my clothes and I’m worried about getting my car broken into all the time,” the 19-year-old said.
Thompson got an apartment in September, but before that he had to go through the very uncomfortable situation of sleeping in his car.
According to AP, the number of university dormitories is limited. As a result, many young people look for housing nearby, where costs are around $1600 for a 28-square-meter space.
Another case similar to the Berkeley teen is Anna Holman, a graduate student in theater, dance and performance studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She left the city in the summer and, on her return, was unable to find housing and had to sleep in her car for a while, INSIDE HIGHER ED reported.
Holman got housing that accounts for 70% of her paycheck as a teaching assistant and also has to commute 45 minutes to get to campus, which is an extra expense for her studies.
In California right now, the biggest cost for students is housing, not college tuition, according to a report by the Public Policy Institute of California.