Joseph Vaysman | Mustang News

The Cal Poly Downtown Lofts are now accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year. The lofts, on the corner of Chorro Street and Monterey Street, first opened September 2017 and were home to 36 Cal Poly students associated with the university’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“We’re incredibly excited about the experience that the Cal Poly Lofts is offering residents. It’s an amazing living space in an historic location. Lofts’ residents get to be a part of the [San Luis Obispo] community in a new way,” University Housing Assistant Director of Outreach and Communications Nona Matthews said.

There are three different options for students to choose from for the 2018-19 school year:

  • One-person studio at $990 per month
  • One-bedroom apartment at $1,219 per month
  • Two-bedroom apartment at $1,104.50 per month

Matthews described the lofts as a “best value” deal for university students. A recent market study conducted by Brailsford & Dunlavey revealed that the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in San Luis Obispo is $1,256 per month. The cost of a one-bedroom apartment at the Lofts is $1,219 and includes all utilities and free laundry.

While some students cannot afford this kind of off-campus university housing, many chose the more affordable option of living on campus in Poly Canyon Village (PCV) this past year. With the recent announcement that PCV prices will increase for the 2018-19 school year, rent will be similar to that of the Downtown Lofts.

For the 2018-19 academic year, a single bedroom in a PCV apartment will be $1,158.50 per month and a double bedroom will be $1,093.75 per month. For the 2017-18 academic year, costs are $980 per month for a single bedroom and $756.25 per month for a double bedroom.

Landscape architecture freshman Wyatt Webb has been living at Poly Canyon Village for the past two quarters and said he is outraged by the new prices. He currently lives in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, housing a total of eight people.

I don’t think the current price range and amenities provided is still enough for me to be satisfied with my living situation,” Webb said. “This is the situation for many other residents in the PCV freshman housing section: a space designed for four people to live in, but was doubled because the increase of freshmen accepted into Cal Poly. By putting a bunk bed in a room that was designed to have a single bed, ultimately doubling the number of lifestyles that were meant to be contained in this single space, is not acceptable.”

Matthews explained that Cal Poly’s housing fees were well under what University of California universities and California State Universities charge. Matthews said the 2017-18 PCV fee structure wasn’t sustainable in the long term. The new fees will be reinvested in the community to give students the programs and facilities they need to thrive on campus.

Webb does not plan on living in Poly Canyon Village ever again because he doesn’t think the new prices are worth it.  

New freshman residence hall yakʔityutyu opening Fall 2018, which will be located at the Grand Avenue entrance to campus and across the street from the existing freshman residence halls, will be housing 1,475 freshman. Because of this, Matthews anticipates PCV being less impacted because of the new construction, not the price increase.

“The majority of campus apartments will be single rooms. There will also be some standard doubles located in our six-person apartments but we don’t anticipate the fee increase to have a significant impact, but we will know more after the application opens,” Matthews said.

The extra money from the PCV rent increase will support facility upgrades, including maintaining campus apartments and modernizing older ones. A portion of the increase will be set aside for grants to support low-income students who have the greatest financial need. The grant to these students is $1,000 toward on-campus housing rent for one academic year.

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