IMAGERY FROM CYPRESS COLLEGE CAPITAL PROJECTS OFFICE
STORY BY CRYSTAL CORTEZ AND HAL SAGA, STAFF WRITERS
Cypress College is in the early planning stages of implementing student housing on-campus due to reports of students struggling with their living accommodations and rent.
The North Orange County Community College District began to consider housing on campus for students in 2019. The idea was incentivized after Cypress College participated in a study with the Hope Center at Temple University in 2018.
Surveys nationwide in Hope Center’s study showed 55 percent of students were housing insecure, whereas 13 percent had undergone homelessness in that year.
Challenges were made clearer as Orange County real estate markets continue to show an increase in rent prices; on average, the monthly cost for a one bedroom apartment was $2,200 in 2021.
Cypress College estimated “a minimum of 150-350 of students experience critical housing challenges that limit their ability to be successful in college, and that 500-1000 students struggle to find affordable housing,” as said by their housing feasibility study in 2021.
The college is currently partnered up with nonprofit company Pathways of Hope in Fullerton to help with rapid housing for students for the time being while plans for on-campus bedrooms are in progress.
On Opening Night for Fall 2022 at Cypress College, Allison Coburn, Capital Projects Manager, announced that the school submitted an affordable student housing grant last year in 2021. According to Coburn, Cypress will submit their construction grants by Fall of 2023. A slideshow presented on Opening Night revealed that the dorms will be located in parking lot 6 on campus.
“The first phase [of construction] will include 186 beds, while the second phase, which will occur at a later date, will double our capacity,” Coburn said about the early stages of the project.
Marc S. Posner, the Campus Communications Director of Cypress College, laid out what he is aware of so far regarding housing implementation on campus. Posner also contributed his judgments in connection with housing insecurity.
“Student housing could be a bridge that allows someone who’s not currently in an economic circumstance to complete their studies to be able to [finish school],” Posner said, noting that this implementation could help half of the student population that is outside the campus’s ten mile radius.
In his career, he has helped students who have had struggles in finding a place nearby. He has had the opportunity to give resources to others who were facing difficulties with seeking a place to stay.
“Hopefully, this helps students, through, you know, what becomes a transition phase in their life. And then, you know, it becomes part of the overall plan to help students complete and succeed.”