Foothill-De Anza students advocate for affordable housing in Flint Center


Ethan Bennett

DASB Vice President Maya Burns spoke in favor of affordable student housing in the on-campus Flint Center at the Oct. 7 Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees meeting.

Jonathan Cabrera, Staff Reporter

Foothill and De Anza College students spoke in favor of offering affordable student housing in the Flint Center at the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 7.

Though the Flint Center was not on the meeting agenda, students from both colleges spoke during the public comments section regarding the future use of the Flint Center.

Students shared their experience with housing insecurity in the Bay Area; and Samuel Martin, 18, accounting major, said that bare minimum housing here can cost between $1,200 to $1,500 without including utilities . 

“It’s actually an understatement that housing here is very expensive,” said Martin. “As someone who interacts with real estate agents and property owners all the time, it’s striking and apparent to me, this housing crisis we have here in the Bay Area is an anomaly.” 

DASB President Shelly Michael said De Anza needs to offer affordable housing on campus. 

“We want student housing, we want affordable student housing. I don’t know how to reiterate that more,” said Michael. “We’re here to better benefit the community and better benefit our students.”

Carley Koz, 21, neuroscience major, asked the board to include language in a construction bond for affordable student housing. 

“Now that the Flint Center is permanently closed, we have a potential and very accessible place for student housing,” said Koz. “Taking into account the increasing cost of living in the Bay Area, and the students we inherently meet have less time to spend working to make money to try to pay these bills.”

Foothill Student Body President Leonardo Blas, 22, computer engineering major, said in the hearing, “We’re here to support this smaller population who can’t fend for themselves.”

Referencing De Anza’s census last year, Elliot Ki, 22, sociology major, said 18% of students reported facing housing insecurity.

“We’re in the midst of the biggest housing crisis in this generation,” Ki said. “It’s hard being a student and a worker at the same time.”

Ki said students struggle to maintain their school work and mental health when struggling to meet basic living standards. 

Some student speakers reported facing housing insecurity themselves, while others spoke on behalf of the FHDA student body.

The student speeches were a continuation of advocacy for student housing from the June 10 FHDA Board of Trustees meeting.