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Hundreds of Cal Poly Humboldt students will live in hotels due to housing shortage

Student anti-war protests continue at Cal Poly Humboldt, causing university leaders to extend the campus shut down through the weekend.
Cal Poly Humboldt
CalPoly is currently facing a housing shortage and does not have space on campus for about 1,000 returning students this fall.

The approximately 1,000 returning students will need to be housed off-campus.

Cal Poly Humboldt announced this week that it will partner with Comfort Inn, Motel 6 and Super 8 in Arcata to house 350 students off-campus this fall. The university is still searching for off-campus housing for an additional 650 returning students, since the on-campus beds — over 2,000 of them — will be prioritized for first-year students. The university said it will accommodate as many transfer and returning students on-campus as it can.

"Priority for on-campus housing will be given to first-time first-year students, who are not as familiar with the community and campus. We continue to seek additional partnerships within the community that will allow us to further expand our housing offerings to Cal Poly Humboldt students," Communications Specialist Grant Scott-Goforth said in a statement.

Housing has long been a concern at the university and in Arcata. The university says it is experiencing unprecedented enrollment growth, partly due to its transition to a Cal Poly school last year. The city, meanwhile, is currently working on a plan to produce much-needed housing.

"Cal Poly Humboldt is committed to sustaining a quality student experience throughout this time of growth and transition," the university said in a statement.

The hotels will be a temporary fix as the university works to provide a long-term solution to the housing shortage, and students who live off-campus will be charged a reduced rate for housing ($3,312 per semester compared to $3,486). They will have access to nearby public transit, and resident advisors will also live in the hotels.

Construction on a dorm that will house nearly 1,000 students is slated to begin this spring, but that option won’t be available for students to move in until 2025.

Students have planned to protest the hotel housing plan on Feb. 8.

Jane Vaughan is a regional reporter for Jefferson Public Radio. Jane began her journalism career as a reporter for a community newspaper in Portland, Maine. She's been a producer at New Hampshire Public Radio and worked on WNYC's On The Media.