CHICAGO— State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. advanced legislation out of the Senate, that would give community college boards of trustees and local housing authorities permission to develop affordable housing for community college students.05052021CM0107

“There are many advantages to living on campus for students,” said Sims. “We all know that housing provides a place to lay your head, but the benefits go far beyond that, as studies show that students who live on campus complete more credit hours and have higher grade point averages. While also making campus resources like the library, labs and support services more easily available.”

Traditionally, community colleges do not have the right to own student housing. In order for community colleges to develop affordable housing for students, the process must be administered through a local Housing Authority or nonprofit organization.

Those speaking out in favor of this legislation also suggest that restricted housing on community college campuses fails to meet the needs of every student. Traditionally, community colleges have catered to students living within a reasonable driving distance of the school, but while that arrangement works for some students, more students are facing a lengthy and costly commute. That can present a challenging barrier to those living at a distance, including international students.

House Bill 374 passed out of the Senate and awaits the Governor’s approval.

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