Overwhelmed with housing options that are either too far from campus, too costly or too small of a living space, second-year student Heer Nanda is one of many who has struggled to secure housing for the next school year.
While Nanda currently lives in a house with a large group of 11 of her friends, she hopes to find another location that feels less “overwhelming.”
Like a growing number of students, she’s already begun the search for housing for the 2023-24 school year.
After looking at her potential housing options for next year, Nanda noted there are several locations that meet her criteria, such as the more “modern and luxurious” apartment buildings including Identity Logan Park and The Standard at Berkeley. However, she said that rent is her main limiting factor for options such as these.
“Not having to pay too much is important because I do want to save a lot of money, especially when it comes to housing,” Nanda said. “I just want to spend money on things that really mean a lot to me.”
Nanda described her search for housing freshman year to be significantly easier when she could live in the dorms since it was arranged through the campus system. For her current housing, she explained that she had to sign her lease six months before moving in to ensure she and her friends would have a place to live.
This year, she shares the same concern that ideal apartments will fill up early on in the search process.
“I absolutely don’t want to be paying a lot of money for a place that I’m not too happy with,” Nanda said. “This whole search for apartments is just really stressful at times.”
Campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff said looking for housing can pose challenges for undergraduate and graduate students due to the Bay Area’s rising cost of housing, particularly in Berkeley.
While he explained campus guarantees housing for incoming freshmen and prioritizes housing for incoming transfer students and incoming undergraduate students with dependents, Ratliff said students applying for campus housing are more likely to receive a housing offer if their preferences are flexible.
For those looking for off-campus housing, Ratliff said students can contact the team at Cal Rentals for assistance at no charge.
“Of course, housing in the city of Berkeley is a concern for the University — it’s a desirable place for students and non-students to live resulting in limited capacity and increasing prices,” Ratliff said in an email.
Third-year student Melissa Andico Murphy, who plans to move out of the sorority house she currently lives in next year, said her main concern while searching for housing is finding a place that falls within her and her friends’ budget.
Since she wants to move in with eight of her friends, Andico Murphy added that she has had difficulty finding housing, and is mostly learning of possible housing options through word of mouth.
“I just hope we’re able to find a house for next year because I want to make my last year at Cal a fun experience that I can spend with my friends that I’ve been with throughout college,” Andico Murphy said.