Students in search of housing for next year can seek guidance from on-campus organizations this month at educational workshops or can join in reviewing their past housing choices.
The Community Housing Office (CHO), located on the third floor of the UCen, will host several workshops in residence halls this month to answer students’ questions about off-campus living, while the Associated Students Isla Vista Tenants Union (IVTU) will hold a Day of Action event Feb. 1, during which students are encouraged to call up landlords and voice any complaints they may have. Both organizations seek to explain housing contracts and tenants rights.
The CHO workshops are from 8 to 9 p.m. in the Santa Rosa Hall formal lounge on Jan. 17, the Santa Cruz Hall formal lounge on Jan. 18, the San Nicolas Hall formal lounge on Jan. 19, the De Anza Resource Center in Manzanita Village on Jan. 23 and the Francisco Torres Linda Vista Room on Jan. 24.
At the workshops, CHO advisors will answer questions concerning apartments and houses in Isla Vista, Ellwood or Goleta, said CHO student peer and second-year political science major Christopher Contreras.
“You can learn anything you need to know about living off-campus, from roommate situations to having month-to-month leases,” Contreras said.
CHO will also host the Rental Fair on Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with more information about the fair to come from the workshops, Contreras said. I.V. rental companies will attend the fair to answer questions from students.
If students cannot make it to the workshops or the fair, Contreras said, the CHO website contains important housing information and an off-campus housing rental list.
“There we list the rights of tenants and landlord, [and we] offer the Move-In/Move-Out video to document conditions,” Contreras said. “At the ‘Off-Campus Resource Center’ [on the website] you can submit questions and have a response in 24 hours.”
A.S. External Vice President of Local Affairs Kelly Burns said the IVTU, as part of its ongoing mission, plans to help students understand and discuss the policies of community landlords for next year’s rentals. On the A.S. website – www.as.ucsb.edu – under the “Highlighted Links” section is a landlord evaluation form, with which A.S. can track the ratings of landlords, apartments and houses.
“A.S. has the tenants union as a way to keep records of all the landlords in Isla Vista,” Burns said. “The A.S. website [has] a forum [where] students give feedback on their landlords. Everything from the conditions of the place to the security deposit to how much parking space the place has is on the website.”
Fourth-year law and society major Trey Littleton said he has lived off-campus for three years and said he has encountered a few obstacles with his management companies.
“I think bigger management is worse than having a landlord that only owns a few properties,” Littleton said. “It’s harder to get things fixed and there’s more paperwork with bigger management.”
Besides calling landlords on Feb. 1 for its Day of Action, IVTU plans to pass around fliers and pamphlets, both on campus and in I.V., detailing tenants rights and important information.
As for those interested in university-owned housing, Residence Hall Assignment Manager Pam Cort said students should apply early. The online application process, at UCSB’s Housing & Residential Services website, runs from Feb. 1 to 15, she said. The first 1,000 applicants are guaranteed a contract offer.
Apartment Assignment Assistant Cristina Martinez said the selection for university-owned apartments is a lottery.
“Lottery priority is given first to current residents and then by class level,” Martinez said. “After [Feb.] 15 the lottery is run, and results will be given out early March.”