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Visual Arts Faculty Statement Opposing HDH Rent Increase Proposal

The faculty of the Department of Visual Arts writes to express its deep concern about the recently announced HDH proposal to increase graduate and family housing rental rates on July 1. We understand the proposal to be that rents would increase 3% for renewing tenants and for new tenants the current unit rates would be increased on average 31%, with up to 86% increase for the older housing units.

We oppose this measure for the following three reasons:

  1. The proposed rent increases put current graduate and professional students who are already stretched to eat and pay for basics in an increasingly unsustainable living situation, given the shift the proposed rent increases will effect in the ratio of their university income to rental costs.
  2. The proposed rent hikes will immediately have a negative impact on recruitment and hence program status and ranking, given that applicants with offers of admission will be deterred by housing costs that would require the lion's share of their wages for rent, and hence leave them with not enough income to cover food and other essentials.
  3. As professors who support our public university's mission to provide equal opportunity, we stand by our charge to make a UC higher education accessible regardless of personal means.  Adopting the proposed rate hikes would immediately directly undercut our ability to fulfill that mission.

Overall, we see these rate hikes as antithetical to the core mission of our public system and therefore urgently request that the HDH and university administration revoke and revise these plans.


The Department of Visual Arts Faculty