CSULB joins city, education partners to form Long Beach Housing Promise
Cal State Long Beach is partnering with the city of Long Beach, Long Beach City College and the Long Beach Unified School District to create the Long Beach Housing Promise. It’s a five-year program that aims to ensure that quality, affordable housing is available for all residents, students and families of students in Long Beach.
President Jane Close Conoley joined Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson; Mike Muñoz, superintendent-president of Long Beach City College; Jill Baker ’98, ‘99, superintendent of Long Beach Unified School District; Tony Thurmond, the state superintendent of public instruction; and a handful of local governmental representatives for a signing ceremony Thursday on the lawn adjacent to Los Alamitos Hall on campus.
Together, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes the Long Beach Housing Promise, a pact inspired by The Long Beach College Promise, which guarantees an education at CSULB for LBUSD students who complete high school and their associate’s degrees at LBCC.
“Cal State Long Beach welcomes this opportunity to join with Mayor Richardson and our education partners in the Long Beach community in this effort," President Conoley said. “Regrettably, housing costs throughout the state and in our surrounding communities have proven to be a significant obstacle for many of our students, faculty and staff, casting a shadow over their pursuit of higher education and careers. We are committed to working with our partners and the community to find a solution to Long Beach's housing challenges.”
Richardson called housing insecurity “a huge barrier to student” and career success, and pledged to “push back on the national trend of growing unaffordability and take innovative actions to uplift and empower our young people.”
“We will make sure that young people growing up in our community have the opportunity to live with dignity and the opportunity to pursue their dreams,” he said. “Our city is blessed with fantastic leaders and institutions. By working more collaboratively, with common purpose, I know we will be able to live up to the promise we just made and get to a place where every student and family has a stable housing environment from which to learn, work, play and thrive.”
The coalition of partners aims to achieve their goals through strategies such as:
- Strategic collaboration and advocacy;
- Long-term planning;
- Joint use of spaces;
- Layered funding opportunities;
- Development of shared public-private partnerships;
- Policy innovations;
- And technical assistance and streamlining of proposal reviews.
On the CSULB campus, the Hillside North student housing project is planned for the same lawn where the signing ceremony took place, next to Los Alamitos Hall and the G4 parking lot. The $105 million project will be a new, 102,092-square-foot, four-story student housing building with 424 beds, based on single- and double-occupancy dormitory rooms. The building will incorporate satellite offices for essential student-support programs such as Counseling and Psychological Services and University Housing & Residential Life. In addition, the building will include three staff/faculty apartments, a 2,000-square-foot multipurpose tutoring room and music practice rooms.
The construction start time is June 2024, and the estimated completion date is fall 2026.
A portion of the project – $56 million – is coming from Senate Bill 183, which aims to increase the stock of affordable student housing across the state. The remainder – approximately $49 million – will come from campus housing funds.
Other officials who signed the Memorandum of Understanding as witnesses were Long Beach Councilwoman Megan Kerr; Juan Benitez, president of the LBUSD board; Herlinda Chico, president of the LBCCD Board of Trustees; and Scott Apel, CSULB vice president of administration and finance.