Lack of Affordable Housing a Burden on Students

SACRAMENTO -- As a student, doing well in classes and graduating is hard enough. Add the financial burden of increasing rent and the fear of eviction and it becomes nearly impossible for students to stay focused.

Angelique A has another serious responsibility on top of all of that -- she's a mom.

"I'm like late (paying rent) all the time," A said.

Justin Enerio also struggles to find housing he can afford.

"Twelve hundred dollars just for a one bedroom for a college students budget, that's pushing it," Enerio said.

Their paths to Sacramento State are different but their battle to secure and pay for a place to live by campus is similar -- and they're not alone.

"The pricing, the rents, they're not affordable for our students who usually need something in the neighborhood of a $500 a month option," Beth Lesen, from CSUS Student Affairs, told FOX40.

That's not an easy option to find. Apartment complexes around the university on average offer two bedroom apartments for anywhere between $1,200 to $1,700 a month, and prices keep going up.

"Rent, in general, is pretty high in Sacramento," A said.

Research from ApartmentList.com shows from March 2017 to March 2018 rent increased 6.8 percent in Sacramento. It's that growth that makes housing insecurity a common issue among students.

Some have found ways to cut back.

"Frozen chicken from Costco, that's it," Enerio said. "Buy it in bulk that's what it is."

Others just try their best make ends meet.

"Her expenses takes from me being able to pay rent," A said.

The growing problem led Sac State to offer emergency housing. Six beds available for 30 days at a time for students facing homelessness.

"We're here to bring hope back and get students back on track," Lesen said.

And there are ways for other students to help.

"If they can afford and they're so inclined to open a room in their house to a student for a reasonable rate that's an enormous help," Lesen said.

While options are out there some students can't help but feel the financial burden. And as rent prices continue to tick upward, that feeling weighs them down.

"It's an everyday struggle to stay motivated," A said.

To learn more about Sac State's emergency housing, click here.