The Community College Campus Experience establishes an inclusive richness in diversity by promoting alternative education perspectives for students in the local communities where they reside. To live on-campus provides students with direct access to shared campus resources. Yet, there is increasing housing insecurity, rent discrepancy and housing cost burden for the community college student.
Community colleges serve the highest number of post high school students and the highest number of low income students.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are the fundamental assets. Equity is not equality. Equality treats all students the same. But equity recognizes the different needs and gifts of each student’s culture and identity.
Academic success is a universal college desire. It should be all about providing the resources for academic success.
State Enabling Legislation
How is the expansion of community college student homes, housing and campus workforce living to be developed with the realization of the over abundant need for affordability? By the utilization of State funding in the forms of Senate and Assembly bills which are currently in legislation or recently approved. These laws, when considered collectively will provide resources for these new forms of student community homes and housing.
SB 169 was signed into law in September of this year as the Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program providing $500 million in fiscal years 2021 and 2022. 50% of these resources is designated for community college affordable student housing projects to support low-income students and facilitate their access to higher education. An additional $1.5 billion investment in student housing for the fiscal years 2022 through 2024 is being provided allowing community colleges to access the funds for feasibility, engineering, financing studies, architectural plans, permitting costs and site preparation. It also encourages community colleges to acquire and renovate commercial properties for affordable student housing projects.
SB 129 was signed into law in July which includes $2 billion in one time funds to create the “Capacity and Affordable Student Housing Fund” to support affordable student housing projects including California Community Colleges and $511 million for campus maintenance.
AB 306 was signed into law to provide workforce housing for community college employees and exempts these projects from DSA review.
SB 330 provides affordable housing for both community college students and employees, eliminates barriers concerning private-public joint occupancy of a college’s property, allowing for private development and operation of affordable on-campus student and workforce housing.
AB 1377 establishes a revolving, self-replenishing loan fund for California Community Colleges for the preconstruction costs and the construction of affordable student housing.
SB 290 would provide a density bonus increase for all California community college student housing projects, adding units for students, campus employees and for each community’s displaced workforce.
SB 35 allows developers in some cases to bypass local planning and zoning rules if they agree to make a certain number of units affordable. In addition, the bill allows developers to take advantage of the state density bonus which allow for a greater unit count on a project site.
There are another ten legislative bills being developed to meet the affordable housing needs of students, transition aged youth (TAY), and the community supportive workforce.
The alternative to governmental funding resources is the popular utilization of P3’s, or Public, Private, Partnerships.
The P3’s. Public, Private Partnerships.
Public, private partnerships, commonly referred to as P3’s, and P5’s, which include Public, Private, Non-Profit, Philanthropic, People (which means everybody in a community has a voice in the development process), are binding legal and financial relationships which involve a governmental agency (federal, state, local) contracting with a private partner to build new housing or facilities on a campus. These can include the construction, operation, maintenance and management of a facility that provides a public service, such as community college student and workforce homes and housing.
However, a commonly voiced negative aspect in the P3 process is that they do not protect the public interests. Decisions in the design and building processes are often concluded by those who are supplying the financing. This can be either true or false, depending on the contracted agreements. If anything, the transparency due to the private funding resources and the openness to the public entitlement process, encourages public and community inclusion and interactions.
Please visit the Westberg White Residential homepage to view a continuing series of articles entitled “To Build a City+” which focus on the new design concepts to provide affordable student housing on community college campuses. This new platform is expressive of the Experience of college on campus Life styles Affordability for student Academic success, and Sustainability to establish unique mixed use urban districts that are reflective of their local communities and culture.
The “To Build a City” platform pioneered by Westberg White Architecture Residential, brings 35 years of campus and education architectural experience, combined with 35 years of high density attached residential, multifamily and mixed use experience to distinguish a new platform for affordable, sustainable student homes for the community college campus, to promote a individualistic blend for the new learn live experience.
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Bradley Mansfield has 35 years of professional Architectural experience in proven leadership which allows him to be actively involved with the complete processes of planning, design, entitlement, documentation and construction to ensure each project experience and the defined expectations of the client are exceeded. This is achieved by providing quality design and superior deliverables in a diverse array of project types, specializing in transit oriented, affordable, high density, mixed-use, and multi-family developments.