Commentary: Creating Affordability for Student Housing in the Community and on Campus

West Village

Last month UC Davis, after 17 months of holding out at 6200 additional beds over the next decade, finally agreed to increase their on-campus allotment to 8500.   While that number falls still a little shy of the 10,000 many hoped the university would add, it represents a major step forward.

As I have come to believe, with the addition of 8500 new beds on campus combined with 5000 to 6000 additional beds in the city of Davis, the community has a chance to put the student housing crisis to rest – at least for the next decade.  We will have a chance to increase the vacancy rate, which will ease the housing crunch and provide cost relief for many students.

However, increasingly, I have heard from students groups, including the outgoing ASUCD President Josh Dalavai, that simply building housing – while helpful for increasing supply – may not be enough.  We need to find ways to improve affordability.

This is a key problem because many believe that the housing crisis is generated by the university and needs to be solved by the university.  Leaving aside philosophical questions about the obligation of the host community to provide housing for students, there is the practical matter that, simply put, it is far more expensive to live on campus than off.

We are not talking about a small amount either.  We are talking about 50 percent more expensive.  Last week, we noted that the cost of buying a university meal plan in some cases is twice the cost of students purchasing their own food in town.

While some have questioned this data, the data keep coming back to the same conclusion.  The university estimates that the monthly cost of room and meals for a triple occupancy room is $1473, then it goes to $1626 for double occupancy and nearly $1800 for a single room.

Not only was the university charging above market for rooms (even to share a room with two other people it is above the average market rate unit in Davis), but the students are spending an additional $400 to $600 a month on food – whereas, from talking to students, some in town get away with spending less than $50 per week on food, and that goes up to as much as $100 to $150 a week, depending on the student.

Some have chosen not to believe my admittedly non-scientific survey to estimate weekly food costs.  Fine.

We have more evidence, UC Davis’ own average cost of attendance ( – the figures that the university uses “to determine financial aid eligibility. It includes tuition and fees as well as average amounts for standard expenses such as books, supplies, room, board, and other living expenses for three quarters of study.”

They come up with figures very similar to our estimates.  They say $16,136 for on-campus living, $9792 for off-campus living.  That comes to just under $1800 per month (the figure provided for single-room living) on campus versus $1088 off campus.

These numbers pretty much corroborate our original estimates.  Bear in mind, these estimate the costs of just “three quarters of study.”  The university notes: “Eligible expenses must occur between mid-September through mid-June.”  In other words, the on-campus total is only for nine months, rather than a year.  But it does show us that on-campus costs here are 64 percent more than the costs of living off campus.

Why is it so much more expensive to live on campus than off campus?  I think that is a necessary follow up step.

In comments I have speculated a number of possibilities.  There are structural reasons why construction costs are higher on campus, even though the university lacks the additional cost of land.  Prevailing wage laws play a role.

When we met with student leaders in the spring of 2017, they indicated that there were a number of fees paying for various programs that added to the costs.

Students are able to find ways to save on food that they cannot utilize with a meal plan.

There are market efficiencies that do not exist for on-campus housing, and that do for off-campus housing.

This is all speculation that may add up to combine to create the huge cost differentials, but it is important to understand that these are not small costs.  We are talking about 50 to 64 percent more expensive – even by the university estimates.

Some believe this is a UC Davis problem, but it appears endemic to the system.  For instance, a 2015 LA Times articles on UCLA reports: “After sharing dorm rooms for two years, he is moving to a two-bedroom apartment in the Westwood area that he said will offer the chance to live and eat more cheaply, and have more independence from university-controlled housing. With rent shared by three friends and lower food costs, he anticipates saving about $2,000 by next summer, even after having to buy some second-hand furniture and dishes, silverware and glasses.”

And that is in Westwood, which figures to make Davis appears inexpensive.

In 2015-16, “the average cost of UC undergraduates’ on-campus residence with a full meal plan will be about $14,200, which is $1,000, or 7.6%, higher than in 2011.”

While that would appear cheaper than the UC Davis figure from 2017-18, adjusting it for the same 7.6 increase over a three-year period it is pretty much in the same ballpark, at around $15,000 compared to $16,000 in Davis.

In other words, UC Davis is right in the same ballpark as the rest of the system in terms of costs, and any way you slice it , it is far less expensive to live off campus than on campus.

UC Davis has commissioned a study to figure out better ways to provide affordable housing on campus.  But those who are inclined to oppose Nishi on affordability costs need to consider this.  The market rate costs for a bed are projected to be about $800 per month at Nishi.  Students in the market rate units figure to spend perhaps between $400 and $800 over what they would spend at West Village.  That doesn’t take into account the $404 units for extremely low income students and $670 for very low income students.

As ASUCD President Josh Dalavai put it to the Vanguard last month, “It doesn’t do students much good if we just erect like ten West Villages and no one can actually afford to live there.”

And as we now know, there are substantial amounts of vacancies at West Village.  The 2016-17 design capacity at West Village was 2579, and the occupancy was 2026.  While that is not going to solve the Davis student housing crisis, it does point to a structural problem.

Here you have a 22 percent vacancy rate at a facility in the midst of a community that overall has less than a 0.4 percent vacancy rate.  We need to figure out the solution not only to gain more capacity but also more affordability for students.

As it stands right now, many students are living in cars or crammed into other housing rather than paying the $1800 a month it costs to live in a single-occupancy unit at West Village.  That’s very telling.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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68 thoughts on “Commentary: Creating Affordability for Student Housing in the Community and on Campus”

  1. Keith O

    some get away with spending less than $50 per week on food, that goes up to as much as $100 to $150 depending on the student.

    Most commenters didn’t refute this, some may only spend $50 a week if they skimp and never eat or drink out.  But by your own admission here many also spend the same $400 to $600 a month that students are spending on campus which I feel is more the norm.

    1. Keith O

      What’s kind of funny here is most liberals and students likely back the law forcing the university to have to use prevailing wages and union workers when building housing.  Then when it comes back to smack them in the butt in the way of higher rents they want to complain.

      1. Howard P

        “Aye, it be a two-edged sword, matey”… showed itself with testimony from organized labor during the CC discussion re:  Nishi vote…

        I would have chose the word ‘ironic’, but ‘funny’ works pretty much, as well…

      2. Tia Will


        What seems even funnier to me is that but for the unions you decry we would have a “race to the bottom” on  ” prevailing wages” so that no one at all except perhaps the independently wealthy would be able to afford to live here.

  2. Ron

    Do we actually know whether or not “prevailing wage” was/is an issue at UCD?  Don provided an example of a housing project at another university, in which prevailing wage was apparently not an issue. (Also, note the limitations regarding the amount of rent that can be charged.)

    As Howard noted, it appears that organized labor is engaging in some form of lobbying regarding Nishi, as well.

    Estimates regarding market rates for new developments may not be anywhere close to being accurate. Repeating those numbers is a disservice, for those inclined to believe them.

    1. David Greenwald

      We know that Public Works Case No. 2010-024 involving the development eneed in a settlement agreement in which prevailing wage was reinstated after UCD attempted to circumvent Labor Code section 1771 in master leases the land in the West Village Development.  What we don’t know is how much of an effect that has on overall costs or rental costs.

      1. Jim Frame

        We know that Public Works Case No. 2010-024 involving the development eneed [resulted?] in a settlement agreement in which prevailing wage was reinstated after UCD attempted to circumvent Labor Code section 1771 in master leases the land in the West Village Development.

        Do you have a citation for reinstatement?  The original 2013 ruling against UCD and requiring prevailing wages for the project was vacated in 2016, and I’ve not seen anything countermanding that.



      1. David Greenwald Post author

        I’m not convinced that one-time construction labor costs are going to be a huge part of ongoing rental costs. When I met with the students, they noted a lot of fees for services that are tacked on. That seems more likely.

        1. Keith O

          Okay, what fees?  Did you ask them or see the breakdown on one of their bills?  That can’t be that hard to investigate.  If you’re going to attribute the higher costs to fees then show us the numbers.

      2. Ron

        Keith:  It could be.  Just wondering how UC Irvine was able to avoid it.

        Also wondering what, exactly, is organized labor lobbying for regarding Nishi?  (Use of organized labor, I assume.  Is there any relationship to prevailing wage, there? If not, what is the difference regarding the amount of wages, assuming that organized labor is still used at Nishi?)

        1. David Greenwald

          Perhaps because they weren’t challenged?  Or perhaps they were challenged and that challenge is not reflected in what Don quoted.  UC Davis attempted to use a similar arrangement but were challenged and ultimately gave in due to the delays.

        2. Ron

          Hey, you’re the one running a blog, and have repeatedly noted differences in cost (between on and off-campus developments).

          Seems unusual for a “news source” to suggest that readers act as “de facto” reporters for issues that the news source itself brings up.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I only have limited resources. If you want to know something, look it up and contribute to the discussion.

        1. Keith O

          Well Howaaaard, I was just going by what David wrote in the article:

           even though the university lacks the additional cost of land

          So maybe you might want to take it up with him.


        2. Howard P

          Key word “was” … parlez vous englais?

          UC/State paid for the land… particularly Russell Ranch part of it… it was not ‘free’… maybe a ‘sunk cost’, for accountants, but the land is not “free”… which was my point.

          David said “additional” cost… factually correct (as you quoted him), at this moment in time… but not historically…

          Key word: ‘additional’…

    2. Howard P

      Ron… case law, in CA, has been clear that even when a public institution uses a public/private arrangement, or even one just using a private contractor, the rules default to Davis/Bacon which is prevailing (union) wages…

      Unions do what they do… advocate for “protecting” their members, making sure their non-members pay “agency fees”, getting their members the best compensation, and, of course, ‘taking their “cut”‘ for doing so.

      Think everyone knows how I feel about “organized unions”… won’t chew that gum today…

      My main point is first paragraph… that was factual… the rest, opinion…

      1. Ron

        Howard:  Thanks, but that doesn’t answer how UC Irvine was apparently able to avoid prevailing wage, and to ensure that the development cited does not exceed 90% of rent amounts – compared to off-campus developments.

        Nor does it address the difference in cost, assuming that unionized labor is used (on-campus, or off-campus), regardless of prevailing wage rules.

        1. Howard P

          Key word… “apparently”…

          And if no one challenges, or if you don’t get “caught”…

          As to the specifics as to Irvine… I have no clue what that situation was, or when…

          Apologize for not fully answering your question…

        2. Ron

          Perhaps another question for you to explore. Or, you can just continue harping on the same issues (without providing any real investigation), over-and-over. Continuously resulting in an uninformed advocacy (which damages the city), closely aligning with development interests.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I consider that insulting, I’ve done no less than ten records requests in the last two weeks to uncover the data that we have to date.

        3. Ron

          Thanks for clarifying.  I’m just posting questions/concerns that arise, as I read your articles (which have a clear “advocacy” underlying them). If you’re going to repeatedly state that on-campus housing is more expensive, I would think that you’d be interested in the reasons, as well as the example (e.g., at UC Irvine) that shows otherwise.

          Alternatively, if you’re primarily interested in advocating for off-campus development, then perhaps you wouldn’t be interested in exploring this further.

  3. Richard McCann

    On campus housing has always been more expensive as off campus since I was in college in the late 7os, and off an on through the 1990s. It’s just nature of the beast. This is why the solution is more likely to come from community housing than from the campus.

  4. Eileen Samitz

    This is not all about UCD trying to get away with not paying prevailing wage by any means. West Village had many problems from the beginning contributing towards its expensive price tag due to bad decisions made by UCD.

    First of all, UCD hired Carmel Partners who had not done student housing before.  That was an enormous mistake because these builders tried using standard residential planning to build a student only housing project which has far more energy needs. More energy needed for students is understood by experienced student housing builders and designed in b because of predictable factors like the higher usage time of computers for instance for their academics.  So, the inexperienced West Village builders significantly underestimating what the realistic energy needs for West Village is the main reason why it has never be able to achieve zero net energy as it was intended to.

    Next, West Village ran into a huge problem of being able to install the infrastructure to hook up the zero net energy system. So,UCD had to come up with around $19 million which Katehi was apparently furious about. This apparently started UCD’s bad attitude towards providing on-campus housing (which UCD needs to get over).

    So the bottom line is that West Village being an experimental project (versus traditional project) had a plethora of problems getting built because of poor management by the UCD not working with experienced developers in the student housing business as other UC’s did do. So had UCD done what the other UC’s did, use experienced student housing builders, they would not have had all these complications.

    For instance, UC Irvine is up to now having 44% on-campus student housing and will be up to 46% in a few years with the new projects now in progress. So, while UCI races towards providing the 50% on-campus housing they have committed to (like 5 other UC’s), UCD is still standing in the starting gate.

    So, while UCD teaches sustainable planning, it can’t seem to accomplish it like there other UC’s are. There is not excuse for this particularly since UCD is the largest campus with over 5,300 acres.

        1. Sharla C.

          I’m again to be criticized for what I haven’t said or haven’t done?     *sigh*   Is your story just unsubstantiated gossip – a story that you heard?

        2. Ken A

          Interesting that Eileen does not even “try” to substantiate her allegations especially since students tend to use LESS energy per capita than say retired seniors who are home all day (watching the former models on Fox News if they are right leaning or blogging to stop development if they are left leaning)  or families with kids (who may do more laundry in a week then a single college guy will do in a semester).  FYI a typical laptop uses about as much power as a single 60W light bulb.  Many vacuum cleaners and blow dryers draw 10x the power of a laptop (most college guys don’t even own a vacuum or blow dryer and college women rarely use either these days)…

          P.S. Did they “forget” that the West Village would need to be connected to the grid and have to pay $19mm or was the cost of the connection $19mm over budget?

          P.P.S. With the average cost to build an apartment in America around $75K/unit you could build an entire 250 unit apartment complex for $19mm so that sounds like a lot of money to “hook up the zero net energy system” (even when paying prevailing wages).

          P.P.P.S. Does the $19mm include the “$7.5mmin federal and state energy research grants” that the West Village got for its ZNE work?

        3. Ken A

          Can you tell us where you did your “research”, is this stuff you found on the internet (where you can share a link) or did your “research” involve asking other anti-housing activists how much energy college students use and how much UCD spent to connect the West Village to the grid?

          P.S. When anyone posts unbelievable things on the Vanguard people will call them out.  I admitted that I was not aware that the B St condos that were originally proposed as for “senior owner occupants” only now are just restricted to “owner occupants” (still basically banning most students that can’t afford a 3/4 million condo) and people recently called out David admitted that “most” students spend more than $50/week for food…

    1. Eileen Samitz


      UC Irvine will have 46% by 2020, meanwhile UCD is saying they will “try for” 46% by 2028-2030.  Come on…that’s a ten year difference for UCD to drag its heels. Plus UCD will not even commit to the 50% for heavens sake like six other UC’s have. Yet, UCD is the largest UC with over 5,300 acres.

      Seriously? David, I wish you would stop trying to run interference for UCD.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        I’m not running interference for them, I’m just not ideologically opposed to UC Davis either. They are moving in the right direction in terms of on-campus housing. I think that should be seen as a good thing.

  5. Eileen Samitz

    Oh, so although the other UC’s are providing 50% on-campus student housing, you keep trying to argue for less on-campus housing at UCD, which is the largest UC campus with over 5,300 acres.

    1. Ron

      Eileen:  David does not directly argue for less on-campus housing.  He merely states that it’s more expensive, and isn’t interested in examples at other UC’s which show otherwise, or in finding out the underlying reasons (e.g., an overly-expensive West Village development, etc.).

      His goal is to ensure that the city approves Lincoln40, Plaza 2555, Nishi, the already-approved Sterling, . . .

      David frequently presents “half of an argument”, and ignores the other half. (Whether it’s cost to the city resulting from megadorms, conversion of existing commercial/industrial sites, loss of a facility that served at-risk populations, displacement of non-student renters, etc.).

      1. Ron

        Oh, and let’s not forget the Herculean effort to downplay air quality warnings, at Nishi. Or the fact that costs were not fully allocated, regarding the preliminary fiscal analysis for Nishi. (Actually, you can thank both Don and David for downplaying those issues.)

        But hey, they’re not so interested in those concerns.

        1. Ron

          The “logical” next step for the Vanguard will be for a peripheral innovation center (regardless of whether or not there’s actual commercial demand), which will (conveniently) also include housing.

          After all, something has to help pay for all of the megadorms. (Even though there’s no evidence that there’s any large-scale commercial demand.)

          In the meantime, UCD will be “doing just fine”, since the city will absorb the costs and impacts of their plans (which is focused on students who pay them $42,000 per year in tuition).

        2. Keith O

          The “logical” next step for the Vanguard will be for a peripheral innovation center (regardless of whether or not there’s actual commercial demand), which will (conveniently) also include housing.

          I agree with you here Ron, I can also see this most likely coming.

          Save your post for future reference.

        3. David Greenwald

          Sorry Ron, but I don’t think the science is there on air quality and I’ll stand by the analysis by Larry Greene and Charles Salocks over what I’ve seen from Cahill.

      2. David Greenwald

        What I would like to see if pressure on the university not just to add housing but to add affordable housing.  I also believe that the 8500 beds on campus and 5000-6000 off campus gets us to where we need to be.  But that doesn’t help if the housing is not affordable.

        1. Howard P

          Interestingly, perhaps, housing “prices” are likely to stabilize, or go down, and the ‘costs’ are likely to be the same, or worse, for “affordability” due to likely interest rate increases… the downward pressure probably will hit SF sale prices first (yet won’t change ‘affordability’), and is likely to push new MF housing costs higher.

          Providing affordable housing IS ‘rocket science’… it is not simple… so many variables…

          I think UC “pays cash”… but could be wrong… most developers have to deal with ‘financing’.

        2. David Greenwald

          Howard: Here’s part of the problem.  If we add 14,000 beds to Davis/ UCD, I have no doubt the rents in the city will stabilize if not decrease.  I don’t have any such belief about the on campus housing.

        3. Howard P

          Perhaps… I neither agree nor disagree… on-campus housing cost is the big question…

          And how many units they (UCD) actually produce (and when) is almost the same size question…

          We’ll see…

        4. Eileen Samitz


          What do you mean if “we” add  14,000 beds for UCD/Davis?  What you do mean is add 14,000 beds for UCD, of which 5,000-6,000 would be in Davis with approving at least five or more mega-dorms with exclusionary student-only beds. That is also if the City takes the bait of allowing UCD to get away with their latest inadequate LRDP proposal, which does not provide at least 10,000 beds needed on-campus for the 50/100 plan.

          The bottom line is that the City should not be enabling UCD to continue in their negligence to provide the on-campus student housing needed for its own growth. Furthermore, there is no excuse why UCD cannot provide 50% on-campus housing like UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UC Riverside, and UC Merced, particularly since UCD is the largest UC with over 5,300 acres.

          But, since you are advocating for  5,000-6,000 more “beds” is Davis that would be ok, as long as they are 1-,2- and 3- bedroom apartments so that our families and local workers can live in them too. Then you also get the affordability in rental housing for everyone including students, families, and local workers.

          So, the solution to affordability and more rental housing is  simply eliminating the mega-dorm format of  4- and 5- bedroom apartments, and replace them with 1-, 2- and 3- bedroom apartments for all.


  6. Eileen Samitz


    Actually, I can’t say I do because of the air quality issues and that it is targeting students only. Also, they have not stated publicly that there would be any one-bedroom apartments which are particularly desirable by workers.

    1. Ken A

      I’m wondering who told Eileen that Nishi is “targeting students only”.  Most developers just want to fill their units and don’t care if someone is a “student” or “worker” (that Eileen seems to think only likes one-bedroom units).

      I’m also wondering if Eileen has written a letter to Vacaville complaining that they are “enabeling” Genentech by building homes and apartments for their workers in the city allowing the company to “continue in their negligence to provide the on site housing”  for their employees.

      P.S. I know that some “workers” like to live alone in one-bedroom units (and studios and camper vans) but since the majority of workers “don’t” desire to live in one-bedroom units (or studios or camper vans) I’m pretty sure that the main reason the developers are not building as many of them is that there is lower demand (I don’t think they are doing it just to make Eileen mad)…

        1. Howard P

          Ron… just try to drill down into the public concessions that Genetic got (Vacaville), or was offered when they ‘played’ with Davis as a site…

          And you think Sterling, etc. are not “paying” enough?  Too little in the way of impact fees?

          Research and learn.   I am not your ‘teacher’… not compensated for that…

        2. Ron

          Howard: I’m not much interested in “researching” general statements, especially those that include an insult.  If you have data to present, then do it.

          However, I have no doubt that your general statement contains some truth.  Cities often “race-to-the-bottom”, in misguided attempts to entice companies.  Seems like this is going on with Amazon, now.  (Kind of embarrassing, for those cities.)

          Personally, I am not a fan of the type of continuing sprawl that’s occurring around Genentech.

          Regarding Sterling, it has nothing to do with what I “think”. The only analysis that’s apparently been done shows an ever-expanding deficit, after year 15.

          Regarding impact fees, we already know that mutli-bedroom, double-occupied units pay the same amount as smaller units.




  7. David Greenwald Post author

    I looked at the four big projects: Sterling, Lincoln40, Nishi, Plaza 2555…

    The four are adding 1181 units

    of those:

    46 are one bedroom

    413 are two bedroom

    383 are three bedroom

    266 are four bedroom

    73 are five bedroom

    Contrary to the narrative, only one quarter (28.5%) are four or five bedroom

    The vast majority of the units are 1,2,3 bedroom

    Eileen’s narrative is completely false when we look at actual statistics

  8. Eileen Samitz


    You conveniently include Nishi in your numbers because it has no 4- and 5-bedroom apartments, which dilutes the numbers and does not explain the real problem. However, Nishi is a mega-dorm anyway, because it is targeting students only.

    So, let’s look at the real problem on a project by project basis. Sterling, Lincoln40 and Plaza 2555 are all predominantly 4- and 5- bedroom mega-dorms.

    Percentages of 4- and 5- bedroom apartments per mega-dorm project:
    Sterling has 108/ of 160 total apts.  = 68 %  4- and 5- bedroom apts.

    Lincoln40 has 92 /of 130 total apts. = 71%  4- and 5- bedroom apts.

    Original Plaza 2555 proposal had 130 /of 200 total apts. = 65% 4- and 5- bedroom apts.

    Newest Plaza 2555 proposal is for 135 /of 200 total apts. = 68% 4- and 5- bedroom apts.

    So, as others and I have pointed out, you continue to exclude the need for multifamily housing for families and local workers. Your proposal for over-building mega-dorms only “in the hope” of freeing up existing apartments is a pipe-dream. UCD will continue to add more students to it total student population annually while continuing to drag its heels on actually producing the needed on-campus housing that is affordable long-term. For the City to plan to build mega-dorms only does nothing to help our families and local workers short-term or long-term while demotivating UCD to produce the needed on-campus student housing.

    Any new multi-family housing built now in the City needs to be 1-, 2- and 3- bedroom apartments, which is inclusionary by design and available to families, local workers, and students. That is the strategy that needs to be used now, not “later”.

    It is disappointing that you continue to try to make rental housing for our families and local workers such a secondary issue. Also, hard to believe that you try to use duplicitous arguments, that building more mega-dorms will bring down the price of that format of rental housing, however, you try to argue that that same mechanism would not work for traditional 1-,2- and 3- bedroom apartments.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “You conveniently include Nishi in your numbers because it has no 4- and 5-bedroom apartments, which dilutes the numbers and does not explain the real problem.”

      I discuss this point in the article.  Yes, Nishi does change the big picture, but it also drives the overall picture because it represents 700 of the 1175 proposed units.  You can’t get around that dilemma however because Nishi represents about 60 percent of all proposed units and about 40% or so all proposed capacity – so it is a major contributor.

      The interesting thing is that I chose not to add in the 3820 which would actually further bolster the point I’m making here.

      ” Nishi is a mega-dorm anyway, because it is targeting students only.”

      So you’ve basically defined any apartment complex that targets students as a mega-dorm.  That’s not particularly helpful as part of my point here is that there is a huge variety of differences within the designs.

      “Any new multi-family housing built now in the City needs to be 1-, 2- and 3- bedroom apartments”

      70 percent of the housing proposed in the four projects is three bedroom or less.

      But you still haven’t explained how families will be able to afford this housing. However, I believe this a disingenuous argument anyway. You don’t care the size of the apartment units, only the intended residents as your opposition to Nishi attests to. So why not be more honest and simply state, you don’t want any housing that is designed primarily or in large part for students?

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      “It is disappointing that you continue to try to make rental housing for our families and local workers such a secondary issue.”

      You’re not being very honest here either.  You yourself have identified that university enrollment as a primary driver of scarcity of housing in the community.  The only difference between your proposed solution and mine is that you believe that the university should accommodate all of the growth and then some, and while I support the university taking on 50 percent of the housing, I believe we also need about 5000 to 6000 beds off-campus to really fix the vacancy rate issue.  But make no mistake, you are acknowledging with this argument that the primary driver is student rental needs.  I simply disagree with you on the solution and believe by reducing vacancy rates to a more reasonable 5 percent, we can open up housing to families and workers.

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