‘Gimme Shelter’: California’s housing crisis forces college students into homelessness

A man inside a trailer where he lives.
Matthew Chin, a UC Santa Cruz student, inside the trailer where he lives in Santa Cruz in September.
(Nic Coury/For The Times)
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Matthew Chin is a third-year environmental studies student at UC Santa Cruz. Because housing near campus is so expensive, he lives in a used trailer that he parks in a driveway — a driveway he rents for $750 a month.

Chin’s precarious living situation is far from unique among college students across the state. One in five California community college students, one in 10 California State University students and one in 20 University of California students are homeless, a recent UCLA study found.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we discuss how the state’s housing problems are making it harder for California’s college students to get an education. Our guest is Chin, who walks us through what life is like in his trailer, why he’s had to sleep outside on campus and tells us about the many others who live in similar situations.


Gimme Shelter,” a biweekly podcast that looks at why it’s so expensive to live in California and what the state can do about it, features Liam Dillon, who covers housing affordability issues for the Los Angeles Times, and Manuela Tobías, housing reporter for CalMatters.

You can subscribe to “Gimme Shelter” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Google Podcasts.