College town rent a pain for students — but no end in sight for rising rates

Housing (Photo: US Air Force)

LOS ANGELES, CA (CBS News) – The school year is coming to an end for students across the country.

Millions of people faced high housing costs last year and prices will only rise, especially for those living off campus.

Middle school senior Jennifer Lopez learned a hard lesson about supply and demand.

Dorms and apartments around UC Berkeley in Northern California are hard to come by. She couldn’t afford the $3,700 a month rent for a one-bedroom apartment, so she shares it with three roommates.

“I definitely wasn’t prepared to be this stressed out about housing every year,” Lopez said.

Rent prices in college towns across the country are skyrocketing.

Chapel Hill, home to the University of North Carolina, has seen its rents jump 24% since 2020, according to Apartment List.

Tempe, where the state of Arizona is located, is up 31%. And there was a 36% jump in Knoxville where students go to the University of Tennessee.

“In a lot of these college towns, the universities or the markets where those universities are located haven’t created enough housing to really support a growing number of students,” says David Garcia, a housing policy researcher at the UC Berkeley. “You have students who have to travel very long distances to attend classes or who end up ending up homeless, which can range from crashing on couches or sleeping in their cars.”

Due to a housing shortage last fall, the University of Tampa in Florida offered freshmen a tuition break if they deferred for a year.

And in many college towns, it doesn’t look like this fall is any better.

UC Berkeley student Sanaa Sodhi struggled to see a spot. “We saw this on Zillow and asked for a visit but no luck unfortunately,” she said.

Sanaa and her friend were able to secure a room for $3,000 a month, which could turn out to be a bargain as rent prices are expected to continue to rise.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

Check Also

Jerry Jeudy needs to arrive now that Russell Wilson is in town

You can count on a lot of things in life: death, taxes, and the offseason …