New: My Response to Dan Mogulof Commentary

Harry Brill
Tuesday July 18, 2017 - 01:02:00 PM

With regard to my response to Dan Mogulof, since my article appears in this issue also, my comments here will be brief. The reason I wrote my article on UC's Housing practices is that I am convinced that the motive for offering admission to thousands of more students is not motivated by a commitment to young people. Rather, it reflects its commitment to the private sector, which is to provide tenants for the housing being built by the private sector. UC Berkeley's history of catering to the business community is reflected in its failure to provide enough housing to its students. Only 22 percent of the undergraduate body at Berkeley can be accommodated by University housing. That compares with more than 38 percent on average at the nine other UC campuses. 

Moreover, UC Berkley's future plans are worrisome. The University has publicly acknowledged that it plans to form partnerships with private developers. As Mogulof acknowledges, it would not support lower fees than the private sector for housing. The University would provide the land and the private developer would build the housing and collect the rents. This approach assures that the housing for UC Berkeley students will continue to be unaffordable. According to Zillow Real Estate, rents have soared in the past three years by 40 percent. The median rents are now over $3400 a month. The University certainly bears some responsibility for this dismal state of affairs.