Keeping the turbulent and ever-changing nature of Berkeley’s housing market in mind, the number of questions that both UC Berkeley students and city residents have regarding accessible living space is largely unsurprising. Indeed, our city is a beautiful one. We have a bustling urban life, flourishing green spaces, an eclectic ecosystem of small businesses and familiar faces and a campus full of the most brilliant minds this country has ever seen. And yet, there are fissures growing along the surface.
What does it mean to live in a city that’s plagued by gentrification? How do you make an unfamiliar space feel welcoming when it’s so easy to lean into the pitfalls of self-isolation? Is there a way to make peace with Berkeley when so many of our neighbors are being pushed to the peripheries of this community? And just how do I go about renting that room? We know being a student here means being forced to contend with questions that aren’t always fun to answer. Allow this issue to give it a try, no matter how difficult. In doing so, we might find a way to make this overwhelming, ever-growing place feel just like home.
If you told me a year ago that moving out on your own was not as simple as it sounds, I wouldn’t have believed you.
— Ari Cortes
A few days ago I was scrolling through Instagram and stumbled upon a screenshot of a Tumblr post that said, “Wasn’t that the definition of home? Not where you are from, but where you are wanted.”
— Izza Ahmed
As time went on, I learned to cope with my homesickness, and I’ve now begun to see Berkeley as my second home, too. With any luck, these methods that helped me adjust will also work for you!
— Ishwari Nagnur
Attending my dream school — even if seemingly for only a few hours a day — reminds me how much campus and Berkeley have to offer.
— Adriana Temprano
There are moments when the loud sounds reverberating off of the colorful homes onto the cracked pavements of the lively Berkeley streets can make the quiet in my roommate-free apartment that much quieter.
— Maria Khan
Murals have played a major role in the city of Berkeley’s culture since the 1960s, and some of the region’s murals have been around for more than half a century.
— Mallika Seshadri
In evaluating the origin and consequences of gentrification and the housing crisis in Berkeley, we can look to the history of the city’s exclusionary and racist housing policies.
— Amrita Bhasin
As I watched those around me find one another and sign leases, my panic grew; in contrast to my peers, who seemed to have everything figured out from location to money to roommates, I didn’t have a tentative — or really any — plan in mind.
— Stella Kotik
In the last few months, I have had to contend with my own dispute involving the leasing company that represents the owner of the house that I live in.
— Alexander Christiano
So what is living away from home really like? A trial-and-error process. And I definitely made more errors than anything else.
— Alisa Steel
The eight rent-controlled units that once encompassed 1921 Walnut St. are now little more than a barren construction site.
— Cameron Fozi and Riley Cooke