Finding housing was one of the first challenges Alyssa Mathiowetz faced as a new graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley. She landed a room in a shared house near campus, but it came with a steep price tag: $1,500 a month.
“It’s definitely on the expensive side,” said the PhD student in metabolic biology.
Mathiowetz’s rent could soon decrease, however, thanks to a new home-sharing program that matches graduate students looking for housing with retirees who have extra space in their homes. Its organizers hope the program will prove successful enough to export to other UC campuses.
College students have been hit hard by California’s housing crisis, struggling to find affordable digs near campuses that in many cases are located in the state’s priciest markets.
The median apartment rent in Berkeley tops $3,500 per month, according to real estate website Zillow. On-campus housing is scarce, and ten percent of students in