In a file photo, students walk on Cabrillo’s Aptos campus. (Sentinel file photo)
SANTA CRUZ — Sen. John Laird announced that a joint housing project by Cabrillo College and UC Santa Cruz will receive $111 million in funding support through the Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program, which was created to support the construction of affordable on-campus student housing throughout the state.
“I hear on a daily basis from my constituents about the hardships they face when it comes to housing in Santa Cruz County,” said Laird in a statement. “Students are having to make really difficult choices about how or if they can continue their education in our community. That is why I have been dogged in ensuring the Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program was supported in a way that recognizes the economic burdens countless students face in not only our region but California as a whole.”
With the signing of the budget bill last Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom gave the final go-ahead for the funding of three housing projects between the University of California and California Community Colleges including the Cabrillo College and UCSC project.
The approximately $181 million housing project will receive $111 million in funding through the grant program and the remaining $70 million will be provided by UCSC.
“We are grateful that local legislators and the governor have come to a historic agreement to fund our collaborative housing project for local college students,” said Cabrillo College President Matt Wetstein. “This is a game changer for our students, 20% of whom are homeless. With this infusion of revenue bond funds from the University of California, we’ll be able to house our most needy students, accelerate their completion and secure transfer opportunities for them at a world-class university.”
Construction of the multi-story building at Cabrillo College’s Aptos campus is anticipated for September of next year with hopes of completing it by fall 2026. The project plan is to create 624 beds for students, split about 60-40 between the institutions, with 376 reserved for Cabrillo College students and 248 for UCSC students.
“Affordable and reliable university housing is critical in helping students successfully earn a UC Santa Cruz degree,” said UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive. “We deeply appreciate the support of Senator Laird and other California lawmakers in helping us increase educational access by building more student housing.”
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