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.
- September 2021 Student Housing and Peoples Park Survey Questions
- Initial results of September 2021 Student Housing and Peoples Park Survey
- Housing Master Plan Advisory Group Progress Update - March 2018
- Housing Master Plan Advisory Group Charge Letter - June 2017
- Housing Master Plan Task Force Draft Report - January 2017
- Housing Master Plan Task Force Charge Letter - June 2016
- Housing Survey for Students and Postdocs - April 2017
Upper Hearst Project
At the site of the Upper Hearst Parking Structure on the northeast edge of campus, the Goldman School of Public Policy is moving forward with an innovative project that will create vital new academic and study spaces for its programs, maintain as much parking as possible, and incorporate needed faculty, staff, postdoc and/or graduate student housing through a public/private partnership.
- Chancellor's Upper Hearst Message and Briefing Document - April 2019
- Chancellor's Second Message to Faculty regarding Upper Hearst Project - May 2019
- Upper Hearst Project Background - March 2018
As part of a comprehensive effort to address challenges facing the campus and its urban neighbors, UC Berkeley will redevelop and revitalize the university-owned People’s Park. In May 2018, Chancellor Carol Christ announced the university’s plans to build on the site a new residential facility for students and make land available for the construction of permanent supportive housing for members of the city’s homeless population. Plans also call for setting aside part of the 2.8-acre property for open and recreational space, as well as a physical memorial honoring the park’s history and legacy.
- Peoples Park Urban Design Brief & Design Guidelines - June 2018
- People's Park Development Announcement - May 2018
- People's Park Development - Frequently Asked Questions - May 2018
- People's Park Concept Drawings - May 2018
Oxford Tract Planning Committee
The UC Berkeley Housing Master Plan Task Force identified the Oxford Tract Research Facility as one of several potential sites for the development of new student housing. Chancellor Christ charged a committee in April 2017 with investigating the the impacts of a possible re-purposing of the Oxford facility. The committee's findings appear below, and more information can be found at https://nature.berkeley.edu/oxford-facility/.
Oxford tract documents:
- Oxford Tract Planning Committee Report - February 2018
- Appendix A - Letter from Dean Gilless
- Appendix B - Appendix to Letter from Dean Gilless
- Appendix C - University Research Greenhouse Locations
- Appendix D - Report on the Student Organic Garden
- Appendix E - Housing Master Plan Task Force Report
- Appendix F - Housing Survey Preliminary Findings
- Appendix G - Charge Letter to Oxford Tract Planning Committee
- Appendix H - OTPC Meeting Summary Notes
- Appendix I - Map of Oxford Tract and Possible Alternate Sites
- Appendix J - Comments received from CNR community
- Appendix K - Site Ratings
- Appendix L - 2017-18 Housing Master Plan Advisory Group
- Oxford Tract Planning Committee Minority Report - February 2018
- Oxford Tract Planning Committee Charge Letter - April 2017