Employer Sponsored Housing: Education

Students and educators are vital members of our local communities. Providing affordable housing options for both of these groups has emerged as a leading strategy for attracting and retaining teachers, staff, and students to our public schools and higher education institutions in the Monterey Region and across the State of California. (Read an article from MC Weekly on this subject.)

School district-sponsored housing projects in the Bay Area and elsewhere serve as models for how cities and school districts can work together to attract and retain qualified teachers and maintain a workforce that prepares our youth for the future. This strategy has been or is currently being pursued by two school districts in our region, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD) and Soledad Unified School District (SUSD). Rental and Homeownership programs for educators strengthen our ability to retain these educators as members of our local workforce.

Housing for undergraduate and graduate students is also a critical component of investment by our region’s leading institutions of higher learning. The University of California of Santa Cruz and California State University Monterey Bay host thousands of students each year who will one day serve as members of our workforce locally and beyond. Students and educators at community colleges and universities like Monterey Peninsula College, Cabrillo Community College, and Hartnell College provide vocational training and important stepping stones to 4-year universities. All of these institutions are continuously evaluating their opportunities to create on-campus or off-campus housing opportunities and MBEP is here to assist with making these developments come to fruition by sharing successful models and providing advocacy support as needed.

Though there is still much work to be done, significant progress has been made in the development of housing for both K-12 students and educators and for affiliates of our higher education institutions (see below). Here are a few examples of work we’ve supported since the founding of the MBEP Housing:

University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Student Housing West:

Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Number of Units:
3,000+ beds
Company Name:
University of California, Santa Cruz
Year Started:
Year Complete:
Forell/Elsesser Structural Engineers & Interface Engineering
Walker I Macy
Quality higher education facilitates that provide students a place to live, learn, and play
Project Timeline:
Click here

Student Housing West will provide 3,072 on-campus beds for UCSC’s undergraduate, graduate and student-family communities. It will also provide a childcare facility, which is an excellent use of mixed-use housing. In addition to housing and connecting students to the university’s facilities and resources, the project will alleviate pressure from the off-campus housing market. We have no doubt that Student Housing West will benefit both students and members of the Santa Cruz community at large.

Landed Homeowner Program for Educators & Health Care Workers:

Location: Santa Cruz County
Number of Units:
37 purchased homes
Year Complete:
Founded in 2015
Homeownership program for educators and health care workers in Santa Cruz County
Project Timeline:
Ongoing, learn more about Landed

MBEP has supported Landed’s efforts since they first created their shared equity down payment program to help more educators to become homeowners in 2015. We are thrilled to see how far they’ve come in supporting not only educators but also healthcare workers and first responders in Santa Cruz, the San Francisco Bay Area and in a growing number of cities across the country.