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2024-111 California Colleges—Affordable Student Housing

Audit Scope and Objectives

The audit by the California State Auditor will provide independently developed and verified information related to the University of California (UC), the California State University (CSU), and the California Community Colleges (CCC) and their efforts to provide affordable student housing. The audit’s scope will include, but not be limited to, the following activities:

  1. Review and evaluate the laws, rules, and regulations significant to the audit objectives.
  2. To the extent that data is available, obtain student housing data from the UC, CSU, and CCC systems to determine the following:
    • The number of students enrolled and the percentage of students housed by colleges and universities for academic years 2019-20 through 2023-24.
    • The number of additional beds that colleges and universities have provided since 2019-20 and the number that the systems anticipate providing by 2029-30.
    • The amount that students pay for housing that colleges and universities provide.
  3. For a selection of three campuses at each of the UC, CSU, and CCC systems, determine the methodology that the campuses use to estimate students’ costs for off-campus housing, as well as the information that campuses have about the number of students who can afford off-campus housing.
  4. Determine what the UC, CSU, and CCC systems are doing to increase the amount of affordable housing for students, including efforts associated with the Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program, and review the following:
    • Any centralized planning by the UC Office of the President (UCOP), CSU Office of the Chancellor (CSUOC), and CCC Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) to increase the availability of student housing.
    • Campus and systemwide goals regarding the provision of housing and determine whether the campuses and systems are reaching these goals.
    • Oversight and guidance that UCOP, CSUOC, and CCCCO provide to campuses on increasing the availability of student housing.
  5. Evaluate the efforts of the UC, CSU, and CCC systems to administer the Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program by doing the following:
    • Reviewing the process that each system uses in reviewing and ranking grant applications, including the factors that are considered in the approval process, and in submitting project proposals for funding consideration.
    • Reviewing the oversight that UCOP, CSUOC, and CCCCO provide to ensure that campuses successfully complete these projects.
    • Identifying and assessing the status of the planning and construction of affordable student housing projects that are funded through this grant program.
  6. Determine whether the mix of housing options at selected UC, CSU, and CCC campuses is appropriate for the populations of students that each campus serves.
  7. Review the efforts of selected UC, CSU, and CCC campuses to assist students experiencing housing insecurity, including the provision of off-campus housing vouchers, emergency on-campus housing, financial assistance, and case management of support services. Identify any best practices that other campuses can replicate.
  8. Review the adequacy of housing information that selected UC, CSU, and CCC campuses provide to current and prospective students.
  9. Review the efforts of selected UC, CSU, and CCC campuses to reduce housing costs, including through financial aid packages and partnerships with community-based organizations.
  10. Review and assess any other issues that are significant to the audit.
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