New Off-Campus Housing: What is this About?

There has been a great deal of talk around SCU about some of the off-campus houses that have changed management recently. Previously, a company called Outsource managed these properties that were owned by Santa Clara University, but now they will be managed directly by the Santa Clara Housing Office. With this change, the homes will be referred to as “neighborhood units,” and the process to live in these units will be very similar to the on-campus procedures. Her Campus spoke with Dave Machado, an Assistant Director in the housing office, to get the scoop on how this process will work.

There are a few reasons why the university decided to have the Housing Office manage these properties. Machado stated that the Housing Office will “do what we already do on campus with the residence halls and apply that to our off campus properties.” This will make for a more consistent application process for on-campus housing and the neighborhood units. It is similar to how juniors and seniors apply for housing. The application will be available on Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 at 7:00AM.  The units are not considered RLS’s, so priorities for which houses that will be rented will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The earlier you fill out the application form, the higher priority you will have for choosing your house! 

Many people are wondering if you can still live with a group of your friends in a house like you would if the homes were not managed by the school, and the answer is YES! Your group will just have to go through the same process you would if you wanted to get a group of friends together to live in Casa, Sobrato, or anywhere on campus. You will enter the names of the people who you want to live with and form a group on the application on eCampus. The time that you complete your application is extremely important because everyone’s timestamp is averaged together, and that will determine how high you are on the list to pick your house. 

How much will it cost to rent these homes? When asked about the pricing of these neighboring units, Machado said that the Housing Office will “raise the rent of these houses by the same amount that we raise housing rates on campus every year,” and this will be “somewhere between 3-4% of what the rent is now.” When renting these units, there will be a 10-month contract, as opposed to a 12-month one in previous years.  There are pros and cons to this change.  A plus is that it’s convenient because you will save money in the summer while you aren’t living at Santa Clara; however, the contract can be an issue for people wanting to go abroad because you cannot sublease your room in these houses. 


A requirement of living in a neighborhood unit is having one of the four resident meal plans that are offered. The smallest one is called the Apartment Plan, which gives you 220 points per quarter. This could come in handy if you are in a hurry and need to grab a quick sandwich or coffee on your way to class every now and then, instead of just having to cook for yourself!

There is much more information on the Santa Clara Housing website, and the Housing Office welcomes students to email them or come to their office (upstairs Benson) if you want to learn more!


Photos courtesy of the Housing Office website