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July 7, 1997

Faculty, staff invited to rent to students through Host Home Program

By Francine Tyler

When faculty and staff opened their homes to UCSC students in the 1980s through the Host Home Program, there were often more hosts than students wanting to participate, said Carol Douglas-Hammer of Housing, Dining, and Child-Care Services.

That's a "dilemma" Douglas-Hammer would like to see repeated, as she and Wanda Amos of Community Rentals prepare to launch the Host Home Program again this fall.

The program matches faculty and staff with students who need temporary housing for the fall quarter. It also provides guidelines and a rental agreement that hosts can use (Host application and information).

Housing Services revived the program in anticipation of a high demand for student housing in the fall. More than 500 undergraduate and graduate students are currently on the waiting list for on-campus housing, Douglas-Hammer said, and still others expecting to live off campus may have difficulty finding appropriate lodging.

"The good news is that enrollments are growing, and we're doing a better job of retaining students, so we just have more students here," said Douglas-Hammer. "We're working as fast as we can to house them all and come up with some alternatives."

Students also must contend with a highly competitive rental market created in part by Silicon Valley's booming economy, Amos said.

Faculty and staff who provide temporary homes for students get both a tangible benefit in the form of rent payments ($100 per week, including utilities, is recommended), and other, less tangible rewards, said Amos, who has had student housemates in the past.

"They get a personal interaction with a student, and gain a really good idea of what the expectations and concerns of our students are," she said.

Host homes will be most in demand from mid-September to mid-October, with average stays lasting from two weeks to one month, said Douglas-Hammer. Hosts and students can also elect to extend their agreement through the school year if both are in agreement, she said.

In addition to the Host Home Program, Housing Services is also working on a number of other ways to house students this next year. Modular housing will provide approximately 170 spaces to undergraduates and graduates at the future site of College Ten residence halls, said Douglas-Hammer. Double-occupancy rooms converted into triple-occupancy rooms, and lounges modified into bedrooms will house an additional 200.

"We're also looking downtown, and encouraging innkeepers to offer favorable weekly rates to students," she said.

Temporary housing will be provided through student hostels at the West Field House and in the Hagar Court Community Room. The field house will be open from September 2 to September 24, and Hagar will open from September 25 to October 5, Douglas-Hammer said.

Matching of hosts with students is expected to start in mid-August. For more information, call the Community Rentals Host Home Program at (408) 459-5034 or send e-mail to comrent@housing.ucsc.edu.

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