Quick Take:

UC Santa Cruz provides on-campus housing for more than half of its undergraduate students and is working to provide more amid the housing crisis via two large projects. One of those — the Kresge College renewal project — will add 600 additional beds.

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Lookout update Kresge College renewal project

UC Santa Cruz is getting closer to adding much needed on-campus student housing.

With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, the 2022-23 California budget allocates $89 million toward housing at UCSC. Specifically, the funding will go toward the ongoing construction of the Kresge College renewal project.

Once completed, the project will add 600 more beds to the 50-year-old residential college than what it originally offered. In total, the college will have housing for about 970 undergrads.

“This is wonderful news for our students and for our efforts to boost our stock of on-campus student housing,” Chancellor Cynthia Larive said earlier this month. “I am grateful for the state investment. Student housing is such a critical need for our campus, and this project helps us advance our efforts to house more students on campus while supporting their educational success.”

The funding will support the university’s goal of alleviating the growing pressures of the housing crisis in Santa Cruz County. While the university provides housing for more than half of its undergraduates — among the highest percentage in the UC system — its students still reported experiencing homelessness at higher rates, exacerbated by Santa Cruz’s sky-high affordability issues. In the most recent academic year, about 9,300 students lived on campus.

Recognizing the challenges, the university aims to provide housing for 100% of new full-time students above 19,500 students. Currently, the university’s enrollment sits at about 18,500.

Construction on the Kresge College renewal project began shortly after it was approved by the University of California Board of Regents in March 2019. Part will be completed during the upcoming academic year, while the entire project is now expected to be completed in 2025.

The UC regents approved another large student housing project in 2019: Student Housing West. The project would create more than 3,000 new beds, creating a net increase of 2,100 beds, but has been stalled due to legal challenges.

After three years of reporting on public safety in Iowa, Hillary joins Lookout Santa Cruz with a curious eye toward the county’s education beat. At the Iowa City Press-Citizen, she focused on how local...