The shortage of available and affordable housing for Berkeley’s students and untenured ladder faculty is a matter of urgent concern for the university. At present, Berkeley has the lowest percentage of beds for our student body of any campus in the UC System, despite the fact that we are situated in one of the tightest housing markets in the state.

This lack of campus housing capacity adversely impacts the overall student experience and challenges our ability to recruit faculty, graduate students and post-docs. In the summer of 2016, as a first step towards addressing this challenge, then-Chancellor Nicholas Dirks convened a housing task force and asked its members to develop a report that would:

  • List and evaluate potential sites for development
  • Consider the impact on campus and the city of Berkeley of new development
  • Develop a financial model that will guide decisions about future housing development.
  • Evaluate market conditions and the University’s Long Range Development Plan as parameters for housing development.
  • Establish criteria that will guide decision making around the development of housing.

In January 2017 the task force completed and issued a draft report that offers a comprehensive and compelling discussion of the issues, as well as a menu of options that could significantly expand the availability of housing for Berkeley’s students and faculty by 2020. 

In the wake of the report’s release, Chancellor Carol Christ is leading a wide-ranging effort to solicit input and feedback—the next necessary step in the decision-making process. Numerous meetings are being held with various constituencies in the campus community; students have an opportunity to weigh in through a detailed survey; and a concerted outreach effort aimed at city officials and campus neighbors is underway.

Key documents: