UC Berkeley’s community efforts

FACT SHEET: UC Berkeley’s community efforts

Note: This list is not comprehensive

Housing:

  • In 2018, UC Berkeley opened David Blackwell Hall, a newly constructed residence hall with beds for 775 undergraduates.
  • In January 2022, UC Berkeley opened the Intersection Apartments in Emeryville with 105 apartments for graduate students.
  • A donor is currently building a project to house 772 transfer students, the Anchor House project. 
  • UC plans to build 150 apartments for graduate students and faculty, the Upper Hearst project. The current enrollment growth litigation stems from this plan.
  • UC plans to begin construction this year to build housing for 1,110 students at People’s Park.  
  • UC plans to begin construction this year on the Albany Village project, which will house 760 graduate students and triple the existing supply of university-owned housing for single graduate students.
  • The campus’s long range development plan anticipates building housing for 11,730 students by 2037. This planned growth of student housing far exceeds the planned growth of the student population.
  • Obstacles to progress: The campus has been repeatedly sued pursuant to CEQA with regard to its plans to build housing. Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods and other groups affiliated with the petitioner in the current enrollment cap legal case have sued to stop the supportive housing project for the unhoused at People’s Park, the Upper Hearst Project, and the People’s Park and Anchor House student housing projects, and have also sued demanding that the campus decrease the number of students that are housed at the campus’s Clark Kerr residence halls. All of these lawsuits are pending. 

Homelessness:

  • The university is donating land for the construction of supportive housing to serve 100 unsheltered people that will be built and operated by a community nonprofit organization at nearby People’s Park. This is the first such donation by any college or university in the United States.  
  • UC Berkeley also employs a social worker to support unsheltered people near campus. This effort, begun in 2017, has helped more than 100 people secure stable housing.

City services and enrollment growth:

  • Last year, the campus entered into an agreement providing that the campus will make annual payments to the city over 16 years totalling $82.64 million to augment city services. The agreement includes a commitment of the city and the campus to work together to improve the neighborhoods that are adjacent to the campus and the Clark Kerr Campus — dedicating a significant part of the university’s annual payments to this objective. The agreement also commits the campus to limit undergraduate enrollment growth to not more than 1%, annually.

Noise & other neighborhood concerns:

  • The university employs two people who work with local government officials and campus neighbors on issues of concern to the community, including noise. 
  • The campus employs two people who work with fraternities and sororities on issues that include noise, trash, and other complaints from neighbors. Fraternities and sororities are private institutions and separate and independent from the university. 
  • PartySafe@Cal employs one person and trained student health workers who use risk management, harm reduction and peer education to reduce injuries, public nuisance incidents and medical transports associated with alcohol and parties. 
  • The campus provides $30,000 annually to city-campus partnerships to support trash collection and furniture recycling efforts in the city at the end of each semester. This includes working with student leaders and community organizations to collect hundreds of thousands of pounds of reusable household items and make them available free to the public as university students move out of their off-campus housing.
  • The campus works collaboratively with the city to manage the needs of residents and neighborhoods during the home football season; as part of this annual effort the university provides approximately $200,000 to the city for its services.
  • In recent years, the university voluntarily agreed to pay into the City of Berkeley’s Street Light Replacement and Storm Water Services funds: in the first year of these property based assessment funds the University’s contribution was $12,000 and $271,000, respectively, for the city’s Street Light Replacement and Stormwater Services programs.
  • The campus convenes city and campus staff as well as student leaders who work to mitigate student risk. This group meets weekly in the fall and ahead of high-risk events and activities to share information and strategies, and identify areas of collaboration. The focus of meetings ranges from student risk associated with alcohol to communications about safety during campus events, wildfire smoke events, and most recently, the wide-ranging impact of COVID-19 on students and the wider Berkeley community.
  • The campus manages the Happy Neighbors initiative to educate student and long-time neighbors about community expectations, relevant campus and city policies, and police and student conduct procedures for possible alcohol, party, and noise-related and nuisance violations. Happy Neighbors partners include PartySafe@Cal, several city offices and various organizations who serve or are led by students.
  • Student government and campus leaders are active members of a special committee established by the Berkeley City Council to collaborate on issues such as affordable housing, pedestrian safety, street lighting and safety. 

Support for the community:

  • The campus grants $300K annually to community organizations through the Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund, totalling more than $3.5M to date, supporting more than 250 community-campus partnerships that seek to improve the lives of Berkeley residents.
  • The campus facilitates over 100,000 service hours through our Public Service Center and partnerships with local K-12 schools, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.
  • UC Berkeley’s Center for Educational Partnerships helps address college-going barriers typically faced by low-income, first-generation, undocumented, and historically underrepresented communities for over 75,000 students across California through partnerships with schools, community colleges, and community-based organizations.

Environmental Review:

  • For decades, UC has analyzed the environmental impact of proposed enrollment growth in its long range development plans (“LRDPs”).  Environmental impact reports (EIRs), prepared pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), analyze the impact of the planned enrollment growth. The life of the LRDP is typically about 15 years. Last year, UC Berkeley adopted a new LRDP that addresses campus development through 2037.  

Students and alleged traffic concerns:

  • More than 90% of students (undergraduates and graduate students combined) come to campus via transit, walking, or bicycle. 

Prepared by UC Berkeley’s office of Communications & Public Affairs. Last updated 3/1/22