Faculty discuss housing with development advisory firm

By David Mamaril Horowitz

dhorowitz@theguardsman.com

A program management and development advisory firm invited faculty to the Multi-Use Building  to discuss housing on Sept. 20.

    It was one of multiple meetings to follow a June 28 board of trustees action item confirming that the firm, Brailsford and Dunlavey Inc., would provide advisory services to the college for one year costing no more than $116,810. B&D is gathering data, interviews and surveys to provide those services.

    “We have been asked to assist the college in understanding what is the demand for faculty and student housing, and what would that look like,” B&D Vice President Matthew Bohannon said.

    The services followed recent discussions about using City College land for collegiate housing. They also followed Balboa Reservoir developers’ plans to include such housing at Ocean Campus.

    Faculty told stories detailing the consequences of living in the middle of a housing crisis as teachers. Several had to move out of the Bay Area due to rental hikes and expressed worry that City College faculty would increasingly be forced out of the city.

    “I drive up to three hours a day back and forth on the bridge, and I can’t leave two and a half hours early every day in case there’s an accident,” said English as a Second Language instructor Denise Lillian, who lives in Oakland. “It’s really intense, and it’s absolutely out of the question to imagine I could move to San Francisco.”

    “ESL is the largest department on campus, and every time we have a round of full-time hiring, there’s somebody we’re interested in that ends up not taking the job because there’s just no way,” ESL instructor Rachel Cohen said.

    Faculty also argued against using San Francisco’s Area Median Income as a measure for providing affordable housing, saying that using the AMI as a standard makes housing unaffordable for teachers. The city’s unadjusted AMI for one person is $82,900, according to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.

    “We need a multiple-pronged approach; this is just one piece of the puzzle and needs to be more comprehensive,” Counselor Rico Galera said. “I come here thinking, ‘I hope this is going to be meaningful.’ For those of us who live in the middle of this crisis, this is a big deal. This is a part of our life, mental health and family health.”

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