Berkeley universities

Rent prices in college towns across the country are skyrocketing – CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The school year is coming to an end for students across the country. Millions of people faced high housing costs last year and prices will only rise, especially for those living off campus.

College senior Jennifer Lopez learned a hard lesson about supply and demand. Dorms and apartments around UC Berkeley in Northern California are hard to come by. She couldn’t afford the $3,700 a month rent for a one-bedroom apartment, so she shares it with three roommates.

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“I definitely wasn’t prepared to be this stressed out about housing every year,” Lopez said.

Rent prices in college towns across the country are skyrocketing. Chapel Hill, home to the University of North Carolina, has seen rents jump 24% since 2020, according to Apartment List. Tempe, where the state of Arizona is located, is up 31%. And there was a 36% jump in Knoxville where students go to the University of Tennessee.

“In a lot of these college towns, the universities or the markets where those universities are located haven’t created enough housing to really support a growing number of students,” says David Garcia, a housing policy researcher at the UC Berkeley. “You have students who have to travel very long distances to attend classes or who end up ending up homeless, which can range from crashing on couches or sleeping in their cars.”

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Due to a housing shortage last fall, the University of Tampa in Florida offered freshmen a tuition break if they deferred for a year. And in many college towns, it doesn’t look like this fall is any better.

UC Berkeley student Sanaa Sodhi struggled to see a spot.

“We saw this on Zillow and asked for a visit but no luck unfortunately,” she said.

Sanaa and her friend were able to secure a room for $3,000 a month, which could turn out to be a bargain as rent prices are expected to continue to rise.

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The housing crisis leaves many people desperate for help. That’s why CBS News Miami wants to share your stories to show the crisis you’re in or how you navigated the system. We will highlight these issues and work to get answers and solutions. Email us at [email protected]