The reasons are manifold:
- UCSD’s Housing Dining and Hospitality is engaging in misleading and completely opaque budgeting practices.
1a. The April 2, 2019 HDH email titled “Graduate and Family Housing Rates 2019-2020” all residents received is rife with contradictory and misleading statements. Here is the HDH email and its analysis.
1b. The ARCHAC housing advisory committee voted for a 0% rent increase in 2019-2020 by a 6-0-2 vote. This is because members felt the rent-setting process is opaque and lacked the backing of financials. 500+ students signed a petition and 150+ students sent emails to HDH to ask for this as well. Here is The Guardian article about the Rent Freeze vote. Here are the main Rent Freeze reasons.
Note: HDH said they presented ARCHAC with “detailed financial” rent models. This is absolutely incorrect! Despite ARCHAC’s repeated requests for fianancial detail, even the most routine non-detailed financials were apparently misrepresented.
2. Student housing rent at UCSD has become unaffordable. On average it is now officially above 30% of students’ incomes (based on a 50% TA salary). Here are the calculations. Below is a plot to see how income compares to housing costs for a) UCSD students, b) San Diego residents, c) CA residents, and d) US residents. The trends are problematic, for many reasons. Even if the percentages seem small, there are effects:
2.a The Triton Food Pantry opened doors; The Basic Needs Hub opened doors; CAPS psychological services have had to expand; More students have pets as emotional support animals; More students are homeless; More students are considering quitting their academic program.
Note: The graduate students have reacted with a number of movements and petitions lately: a) 2017 North & West Mesa, b) 2018 Coast Apts, c) 2019 Rita + SGA, d) 2019 Rent Freeze… Next year you will see e) 2020 Coast, and f) 2020 South and Central Mesa.
Data for city, state, and national data below from: www.deptofnumbers.com/rent/california/san-diego/#pct_income