Student Housing Spotlights: Call for Affordable Housing for Student Parents and Families


Recognizing the crucial role of affordable housing for student success, the governor and legislature established the Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program (HESHG) in 2021 with the aim to address the housing needs of current and prospective students across the state. Once occupied, these project will provide affordable hosing for more than 11,200 low-income students each year, including at least 195 student parents and their families.

California is home to over 400,000 student parents who face unique challenges in pursuing higher education. On top of tuition costs, student parents have greater non-tuition expenses such as childcare, food, and transportation than their nonparenting peers and require family-friendly housing options rather than dormitory-style living. Student parents also face greater risk of housing insecurity and homelessness.

Despite these distinct and urgent needs, the availability of on-campus housing suitable for families remains severely limited, with only a fraction of colleges offering such accommodations. Among the 35 approved HESHG projects, only five aim to address this gap with plans to provide family-specific housing units. These projects, highlighted in these spotlights, are pivotal for advancing degree completion and success across generations. The aim of these spotlights is to galvanize continued funding and expansion of such initiatives, while ensuring alignment to the student needs.

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