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Reader Rant: UCLA Grad Students Need Better Housing Options

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A topic that came up recently in an Ask Curbed, the issue of finding housing around UCLA is particularly daunting. A current graduate student vents a bit and writes: "The neighborhoods surrounding UCLA are essentially unaffordable for the typical student. Two bedroom apartments right near the university are shared among four to six students. So an immediate thought is to move slightly to west to the more affordable neighborhood of Brentwood. Logistically, Brentwood seems an ideal place for any student, in particular graduate students. There are accessible Big Blue Bus lines, markets (organic and mainstream), coffee galore for all those late thesis writing nights and a ton of Italian restaurants to carbo load before those arduous office hours filled with undergrads seeking that extra half point on their midterm. Unfortunately, the typical rent of a one bedroom apartment in Brentwood is equivalent and at times exceeds the monthly stipend of the average graduate student.

Even the split cost of a two-bedroom is too expensive. There are a few rare finds in older barely maintained buildings that are affordable. However, these are apartments seem to slowly one by one be purchased, demolished and re-built as luxury apartments geared to a different economic stratus furthering pushing the struggling graduate student out of the neighborhood.

As a graduate student, this is a scenario that is common to all the neighborhoods immediately surrounding UCLA. To prospective graduate students that are already apprehensive about returning to school are further deterred by the difficulties to live near UCLA.

In recent years, UCLA has established and developed graduate housing units in Westwood (walking distance from campus). Though these apartments may appear to be more affordable in the short term, each student is only able to live there for a set number of years depending on the program. The defined time is much shorter than the time needed to finish the degree such that facing the astronomical rent issue either occurs when you first arrive at UCLA or somewhere in those middle years of graduate school. Living and learning at UCLA is becoming more difficult and unaffordable with each passing year.
· Ask Curbed: Friendly Grad Student Needs Good Home [Curbed LA]


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