By: Kimberly Velasquez, Ashley Bautista, Alexis Noquez
As affordable housing has become increasingly difficult to find in Los Angeles County, students at Long Beach State continue to feel the impacts of this crisis.
While there are options for both manageable and sustainable living situations for students, the problem lies within them being able to live within their means. Although CSULB provides three different dorming options, apartments and houses in the surrounding area have become a breeding ground for despairing students.
Beachside College, Parkside College and Hillside College are the housing options offered by the university. Both Hillside and Parkside dormitories are located on campus, while Beachside is about a mile from the school on Pacific Coast Highway.
All dormitories are cable-ready and include a quiet study area, utilities and Internet access, though meal plans and parking are not included in the housing fees and expenses.
Depending on room occupancy, living in one of CSULB’s residence halls will cost students anywhere between $8,360 and $9,360 for a full academic year.
While the university is known for being a commuter school, many students prefer to live near campus to save on things like travel time and gas money.
Long Beach’s third and fourth districts, also known as the arts districts, surround CSULB’s campus and tend to be popular areas for students to look to for housing because of their thriving social scene.
Granny flats, or accessory dwelling units, have are becoming an increasingly popular housing alternative for students as these homes can accommodate several individuals. Known as ADUs, these self-standing structures are an addition onto an already existing property that oftentimes will contain a full bathroom, kitchen and living space.
When renting out these ADUs, homeowners restrict their tenants’ ability to own pets and require a high credit score. According to Chime.com the average person between the ages of 18 and 24 has a credit score of 630, which is only considered to be “fair.”
These restrictions may contribute to students’ difficulty finding an attainable place to live.
Located about a mile from CSULB on Park Avenue is Beverly Plaza Apartments, a several-building complex containing numerous units that is home to a large number of college students. A one-bedroom, one-bath unit in this newly renovated apartment complex can cost between $2,214 and $3,382 a month in rent.
Some students decide to rent entire homes with other students in hopes of lowering their individual living costs.
A five-bed, four-bath home about two miles from campus can be rented for about $7,500 a month, which could be a cheaper option depending the amount of total residents. However, students could end up paying more in a house situation than someone renting a studio apartment just two miles from campus at $1,395 monthly.
According to RentCafe.com, Long Beach’s average rent has been trending higher than the national average, steadily increasing since March 2018. That month, the city’s average rent cost around $1,400 more than the national average, and this gap reached nearly $1,500 in March 2020.
Resources for renters:
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles —https://lafla.org/
Long Beach Residents Empowered: https://www.wearelbre.org/
Fair Housing Foundation — https://fhfca.org/