When the Governor released his budget message in January, he proposed delaying funding for housing projects on land owned by the state’s colleges and universities that was included in last year’s budget. Specifically, the Governor’s proposal would delay $1.2 billion in loans and grants for student housing, deferring $250 million of the $750 million appropriation for the Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program until FY 2024-25 and pushing out $900 million in funding for a new interest-free student housing revolving loan program until FY 2024-25, with the remaining $900 million available in FY 2025-26.
At a hearing last month, a bi-partisan group of legislators expressed opposition to the funding delay, though they did raise the potential for prioritizing funding for loan program in the budget year. This idea had been raised by the State Legislative Analyst’s Office, which found that more units could be built with the loan funds and that, since it is a revolving fund, more units would be assisted over time. The fate of the student housing funding will be decided over the coming months as the Legislature develops its own budget document and after negotiations with the Administration. According to reports, 30 different campuses have already submitted plans to the State that request more than $2.1 billion in funding that would create more than 12,000 new dorm rooms.
With student housing in the spotlight, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (Coachella) has introduced AB 1630, which would permit off-campus student housing to be developed by right if it is within 1000 feet of a public university campus and it meets specified development standards, including affordability requirements.