University to administer leasing of 20 off-campus homes in January
THE SANTA CLARA
October 8, 2015
Santa Clara’s housing office announced to the residents of certain properties near campus Wednesday that it will directly oversee many of the popular off-campus homes rented by students starting on July 1, 2016.
Among the houses in question are iconic student-named hovels such as “Hooters,” “Zoo,” “Fishbowl” and “Bermuda.”
The university has owned these properties for years. However, oversight of these houses was outsourced to Real Source, an independent property management company.
According to a FAQ page on the university housing website, the decision to put these properties directly under the oversight of the Office of Housing was made to establish a more streamlined process for students who rent the properties, which are now referred to as “Neighborhood Units.”
Much of the operation of the Units will mirror the system used to run on-campus residence halls.
Students will now apply for ten-month housing contracts for the units through the university’s online housing application process, starting in January of 2016. Residents will be able to make payments through their bursar accounts.
Unit pricing will be finalized within the next two weeks. However, the university expects to charge slightly above current prices.
This price will include utilities, excluding internet and cable, according to Maggie Malagon, director of housing business services.
The housing office will give priority to current residents. After that, they will award placement based on a first come, first serve basis.
According to Malagon, students who live in the Neighborhood Units will sign a Undergraduate Housing Contract. In order to hold residents accountable for Student Handbook policies, Campus Safety Services will patrol the residences like they do for graduate housing.
“CSS officers go out to these houses to do rounds and report any items they may find, which more often than not tend to be maintinance needs,” Malagon said.
To keep these residents educated, the Housing Office will provide the tenants with information about university policy and city violations.
With this move, the university hopes to further establish an official presence in the immediate neighborhood surrounding the campus.
“This change demonstrates to students and parents, as well as neighbors, that Santa Clara University will have greater oversight for these units,” the web page says.
Of the the 20 homes now directly under the purview of the university’s housing office, seven are on Lafayette Street, five are on Bellomy Street and four are on Alviso Street, all within the area of Santa Clara known as “Light Side,” a popular party destination for many adventurous underclassmen.
The decision comes after several years of a contentious town and gown relationship, which climaxed in a failed city ordinance intended to limit the number of residents allowed in homes, and a swelling tide of complaints about landlords who took advantage of young, inexperienced tenants.
The Housing Office is holding two informational sessions about the new units on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 4:30 pm and and Monday, Oct. 26 at 7:00 pm.
More information about the change and a full list of the 20 homes now under Housing’s purview is available on the Housing Office’s website.
Contact Nicolas Sonnenburg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.