By William Krebs, Daily Nexus, October 14, 1976
Slowly but surely, UCSB is approaching a major housing crunch. In the coming years, UCSB students can expect greater competition for space and ever-rising costs. This situation is aggravated by the shortage of on-campus housing and the steady deterioration of Isla Vista apartment houses.
On campus, the problem is a lack of housing. Although the University is committed by its own policies to house 25 percent of the students, UCSB is now about 500 students short of this goal. Official University projections call for a decline in enrollment over the next five years. Present plans call for the construction of new housing by 1981-1982.
Most housing in Isla Vista was built during the early 60s and it was intended to last until the early 80s. There have been complaints, though, that some apartment houses have already become uninhabitable, which could cause serious consequences if apartments are taken off the market because of decrepit conditions.
Winding through all housing questions is the local water shortage. Presently, the Goleta Water District has a moratorium on new hookups. The moratorium prevents construction of new housing in the Goleta-Isla Vista area. The defeat of propositions A and B last November prevented the acquisition of new water supplies that would have permitted 1,500 acres of new residential construction.
The University is not directly affected by the moratorium since all the water for the University runs through one master meter. As long as the University limits its water consumption to its annual allotment, it is free to decide how it will use the water. The present Long Range Development Plan allows enough water for the construction of 60 units of University apartments. According to the plan, these would be constructed near the married student apartments, by Los Carneros Rd.
University housing is tied to enrollment. The latest plans call for moving the construction date for the proposed University apartments to 1980-81. Director of planning Richard Jensen does not see the construction date being set any earlier than the new 1980-81 date.
Since these plans have been made on the basis of a large enrollment decline in the next few years, the effectiveness of the plan depends on actual enrollment changes. Jensen stated that enrollment seems to be higher than original projections. He suggested that the University might place further limitations on the number of new students in order to keep enrollment at the level specified in the plan.
Marty O’Leary, Student Lobby housing coordinator, is one of two student representatives on the housing committee. He said the Student Lobby is generally in favor of better housing, both in quantity and in quality. O’Leary favors increasing the percentage of students who live on campus. He would like the University to take some of the uncertainty out of the housing situation. Although he said that there wasn’t a housing crunch like last year, O’Leary did say, “It’s still crowded as hell out there.”
With new potential water supplies and the proposed University apartments, there could be extensive housing improvement in the mid-eighties, when enrollment picks up.