Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Faculty and Staff Housing
December 12, 2003
TO THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY
Our ongoing efforts to recruit new faculty and staff members to fill vacant positions are often heavily dependent upon the ability of candidates for these positions to find affordable housing in areas that are within commuting distance to the campus. Recent studies indicate that the escalating cost of housing has driven the median house price in Santa Barbara County’s South Coast area to more than $900,000 and the median condominium price to more than $500,000. The average rental rate for the county has now risen to nearly $1,500 per month. Needless to say, our new faculty and staff employees are challenged to make ends meet when faced with such monthly rental or mortgage payments. Our campus has utilized the Mortgage Origination Program (MOP) as well as the Supplemental Home Loan Program (SHLP) to facilitate home purchases by faculty members. But Santa Barbara housing costs have risen to such high levels that most new faculty and staff members could be unable to qualify for sufficient financing to purchase a home or to provide the down payment.
In response to the high housing costs that confront new UCSB employees who move into this area, we are making great efforts toward development of additional affordable rental and for-purchase housing for faculty and staff members. This requires a variety of innovative approaches that include the development of new housing on campus-owned land as well as negotiation of agreements with private developers to set aside housing units for UCSB employees. Several projects that are in varying stages of planning or development are designed to contribute to increasing housing that can be made available to our faculty and staff members. The following are some examples:
Rental units set aside for UCSB faculty in private developments. For example, rental units in the Willow Springs development have been set aside for UCSB faculty to rent, by campus agreement with the Towbes Group. Faculty rental agreements do not require a fixed-time contract. Units are still available.
Temporary housing for faculty and staff members in graduate student rental units. This will include the development of the new San Clemente graduate student housing units (approximately 321 apartments for a total of 976 beds), which will be sited south of the Storke Playing Fields adjacent to El Colegio Road. This project is currently slated to begin in 2005 and be completed by 2007; the plan is for some of the units to be made available to faculty and staff to rent on a temporary basis.
Development of new for-sale and rental housing for faculty. We cooperated with the County of Santa Barbara and the City of Goleta in the March 2002 Memorandum of Understanding on a Joint Proposal for the Ellwood-Devereux Coast. This comprehensive proposal includes plans to develop 236 faculty housing units that would include condominium, duplex, and single-family dwellings on the parcel of North Campus land located to the northwest of the Ocean Meadows Golf Course. The campus has hired an architect to proceed with the design for this project, and the draft environmental impact report is being prepared for public review. The campus is also seeking a third-party developer to collaborate on this project. The current target date for beginning construction is 2005; some portion of the housing may be available prior to completion of the entire project.
Ocean Road housing project. Concurrent with the Campus Housing Master Plan, we are progressing with a feasibility study for development of faculty and staff housing along the eucalyptus corridor between Isla Vista and the campus.
Planning for additional faculty and staff housing on lands owned by the campus. The campus has hired a consultant to prepare a master plan for campus housing. The master planning process will review all lands owned by UCSB and identify sites that could be considered for development of additional faculty, staff, and student housing in the future. This process has begun and is expected to be well advanced by the end of the 2003-04 academic year.
A campus real estate office. Planning has begun for the establishment of a campus real estate office. We are in the process of hiring a professional with extensive experience in the development and management of real estate on a university campus to provide leadership for this office.
We urgently need to press forward with and enhance our processes that are intended to increase the supply of campus housing for faculty and staff. We need to focus our efforts to ensure success in meeting this goal. To this end, we will seek extensive advice from faculty and staff through an Advisory Committee on Faculty and Staff Housing. The consultation process to form this committee is now underway. I am pleased to announce that Professor Harry Nelson has graciously agreed to serve as the chair of this important committee.
The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Faculty and Staff Housing will provide oversight, guidance, and advice to complement all of our efforts to help our faculty and staff colleagues obtain affordable housing. The committee will work with the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Student Housing to provide comprehensive oversight of the Campus Housing Master Plan. It will oversee activities in all of the areas listed above, and will work with campus planners to seed and cultivate new approaches that will further enhance our current efforts.