Chula Vista

$1M Grant Helps Southwestern College Explore On-Campus Affordable Housing Options

The grant will fund a study to see if affordable housing can be built on Southwestern College's campuses in Chula Vista, National City, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa

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The largest college in southern San Diego County will use a $1 million grant to investigate ways to build affordable housing for its students.

The Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program awarded Southwestern College the funds so it could explore building multi-million-dollar complexes on its four campuses that could include childcare, parking, and student support services.

“It’s something that our community needs,” said Abril Hernandez.

The second-year student is a single mother and works in Southwestern’s Student Affairs office.

“Rent is just so ridiculous!" exclaimed art instructor Iana Quesnell, who said she chooses to live in her SUV. “If I wanted to pay rent, I could, but it would take more than half of what I get paid each month and I’m just not willing to do that."

She said some students don’t have a choice and sometimes choose work over school.

“If students can benefit from having housing, I think they’ll stay in school,” said Quesnell.

Southwestern College said it will explore housing on its campuses in Chula Vista, National City, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa. San Diego City College received a similar grant for $344,000 to explore affordable housing on its campus as well.

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