City College of San Francisco Leaders Want Student Housing Offered

The college’s Board of Trustees issued a directive to create housing for students in a bid to improve outcomes.

College campus with signage
City College of San Francisco leaders are directing administrators to set up student housing. | File Photo/Ingleside Light

City College of San Francisco wants to get into the housing game.

The college’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution at its September meeting that directs the administration to make plans for student housing.

“My vision is that we remove as many barriers as possible, especially for our underrepresented student populations, low-income students, students of color and how do we really set them up for success and achieve our equity goals,” Trustee Aliya Chisti, who spearheaded the resolution, told The Ingleside Light. “We can't do that without thinking of the student as a whole and their needs.”

The resolution comes at a time when the cost of housing across the state is exceptionally high.

“This topic is particularly important to me because it ties into something that I feel very passionately about which is basic needs for our students,” Chisti said at the meeting. “How can we expect [City College students] to learn if they’re hungry? How can we expect them to learn if they are experiencing housing insecurity?”

The resolution requires the college to develop a plan to access existing inventory, identify space where housing can be built, apply for California’s affordable student housing grant and engage with the community, the Homeless At-Risk Transitional Students program and possibly with San Francisco State University, which has received money from the state around student housing before.

Trustee Vick Van Chung, who asked to be a co-author of the resolution after submitting an amendment, said that the college should consider what type of housing they want to provide to students, such as short or long-term.

“The spirit and intent of this resolution is wonderful,” Chancellor David Martin said. “As Trustee Chisti very nicely articulated, this is such a critical concept for students chasing their dreams and higher education and couldn’t be more happy to work with the board to do as much as we can to get the grant submitted.”

The college’s former parking lot in the Balboa Reservoir is set to become housing. One building there will have 150 units dedicated to college faculty.

Madeline Mueller, a longtime faculty member in the college’s music department, suggested the college try to develop the reservoir, which already has a development team.

“We got an architect and worked out a wonderful alternative plan which the supervisors would not consider,” Mueller said. “We would have had parking and student housing and faculty housing for the lower 17 acres. Let’s resurrect that plan.”

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