SACRAMENTO – Today, Senator Laird (D – Santa Cruz) announced that the joint Cabrillo College – UC Santa Cruz student housing project, selected in the 2023-2024 round of the Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program will be fully supported, and was included in a budget bill passed by the Senate and recently sent to the Governor. This is one of three joint student housing projects between the University of California and Community College – the first such partnership between these segments in the state’s history.
“I hear on a daily basis from my constituents about the hardships they face when it comes to housing in Santa Cruz County,” Laird said. “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.”
“Affordable and reliable university housing is critical in helping students successfully earn a UC Santa Cruz degree,” said UC Santa Cruz 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.”
"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 Matt Wetstein, President of Cabrillo College. "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."
With this infusion of funding, the groundbreaking is anticipated for September 2024, and once completed in Fall 2026, the project will include a multi-story building with approximately 624 beds; 376 reserved for Cabrillo students, and 248 for UCSC students. This project will serve as a model for our higher education systems to work collaboratively towards solving the all too serious and increasingly common issue of student homelessness.
Senator John Laird represents the 17th State Senate District, which includes all of Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties, the majority of Monterey County, as well as parts of Santa Clara County. He previously served as the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, member of the State Integrated Waste Management Board, a member of the State Assembly, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Aids Project, and two terms as Santa Cruz Mayor. As one of the first openly gay mayors in the United State, Senator Laird has dedicated his life to social justice, environmental advocacy, sound government, and public service. Senator Laird has been a long-time resident of Santa Cruz with his spouse John Flores.