June 9, 2003
New Housing Access Policy sets up lottery for
staffers wanting to buy
By Louise Donahue
"Winning the lottery" may soon have a different meaning for
UCSC staff members. The campus has overhauled its policy on access to
scarce on-campus housing units, giving staff members a chance--through
a lottery--to join faculty members seeking on-campus housing units.
Campus Welfare Committee sought input from wide variety of
sources in developing new policy. (More)
|These Hagar Meadow town homes
are part of the housing stock at UCSC. Photo: Chris Myers
Under the new Housing
Access Policy, a fixed allocation of available rental and for-sale
units will be distributed to eligible faculty, staff, and non-Academic
Senate academics under this formula:
80 percent faculty
15 percent staff
5 percent non-senate academics
To be eligible, employees must work 100 percent time and have a minimum
of a one-year appointment.
The new policy follows nearly a year of discussion and analysis by
the Campus Welfare Committee at the direction of Campus Provost and
Executive Vice Chancellor John Simpson. (See sidebar)
"It was a long, thoughtful process," said Associate Vice
Chancellor Jean Marie Scott, who served as a member of the committee.
"The committee worked extremely hard to make sure they could obtain
a fair policy that supported the campus's academic mission as well as
a number of guiding principles set forth at the onset of the process
by the welfare committee."
While in theory both faculty and staff were eligible to buy or rent
on campus before, senate faculty had top priority. Limited supply and
high faculty demand meant that very few employees other than senate
faculty have ever had the opportunity to purchase housing.
Demand far exceeds supply
Faculty and Staff Housing manager Steve Houser noted that the relative
scarcity of for-sale housing (80 units) and extremely high demand made
the allocation decision especially difficult for the Campus Welfare
Committee. Even when additional housing stock (50 Hagar Court Condominiums)
is added, this imbalance meant that most interested staff would never
be able to buy campus housing.
The lottery for staff was created because the committee wanted to balance
the staff waiting list between existing employees and those yet to come
to the campus. Without a lottery, UCSC would have faced the potential
of hundreds of applicants from the approximately 2,000 "career"
staff members on campus.
This is how the lottery will work:
o Staff members and non-senate academics must e-mail the housing office
(email@example.com) and request to be put on the for-sale housing
o Fifty staff members and 15 non-senate academics will then be randomly
selected from the pool and placed on a waiting list.
Transition to new system
One of the major issues the Campus Welfare Committee had to decide
was how to deal with the 86 faculty members who were on the for-sale
waiting list under the old policy.
These faculty members have been placed on a "Transition List,"
will have the first chance at any for-sale housing that comes open,
Unlike past practice, those on the Transition List are required to
state in writing their preferences for type of housing and number of
bedrooms. When a unit matching their preferences comes open, they must
either buy the unit or be removed from the list. Further information
on the Transition List is available online.
Houser said that introducing a consequence for turning down a unit
will assist sellers of homes, as it will now be very easy to identify
interested parties of particular units. The data from prospective buyers
"helps applicants know exactly where they are in line for a particular
type of unit," he said.
Rentals as 'landing pad'
In addition to changes in for-sale access, the policy also alters the
rules on renting. The Campus Welfare Committee wanted to reinforce the
notion that rental properties are to be used as "a landing pad,"
said Houser, not as permanent housing.
"Although the units are priced below market, the intention is
for new employees to relocate to Santa Cruz, adjust to the community,
and move on," he said.
In keeping with that philosophy, rental rules have been tightened:
Rental property will be available only for those whose hiring
date was two years ago or less.
Renters cannot move back into units once they have left. "One
rental term of a maximum of three years will be allowed, but should
a resident move out, they will not be eligible for another unit,"
New apartments, new condominiums
Houser said he expects some 12 to 18 units of rental housing to be
available in fall and winter for staff as the Hagar Court Condominiums
open. A rental application can be filled out online.
Many UCSC renters--including quite a few now living in apartments managed
by Faculty and Staff Housing--are planning to purchase these units.
Hagar Court Condominiums--all two-bedroom units--are to be converted
from apartments and remodeled. They are expected to sell for between
$200,000 and $220,000, a bargain by Santa Cruz standards. "They'll
be very popular, I'm sure," Houser said.
Twenty-two condo units are expected to be ready in late September,
and another 28 in late December. He noted that buyers cannot sell the
units later for market price; selling prices are tied to an inflation
UCSC's rental supply underwent a major change with the acquisition
of Laureate Court Apartments, just across from the main entrance to
campus at Bay and High Streets. Laureate Court has 49 two-bedroom and
15 one-bedroom apartments.
The campus has been leasing units there since 2002 and will take possession
of the property about July 31. The Laureate Court purchase and conversion
of Hagar Court to condominiums was approved by the Board of Regents
The housing office will have a series of information sessions in
early summer to go over the policy changes. For more information about
the housing policy or to be contacted about an upcoming housing information
session, e-mail the housing
Related Currents stories:
expanding university housing with purchase of apartment complex
Welfare Committee taking a look at principles, policies on housing
participants push for additional employee housing
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