SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) – Santa Clara University can be added to the list of Silicon Valley hot spots hit with a housing crunch. The wealthy Catholic school says it’s losing faculty and staff at an alarming rate because they can’t afford to live near the campus.
Lecturer Angela Holzmeister should have a nice long career at a place like Santa Clara University.
“I studied for many, many years and got a PhD in Greek and Latin,” Holzmeister said.
But these days she wonders how long she can survive financially in Silicon Valley.
“It’s difficult to live the reality knowing that you’ll never be able to own in this area.
To not being able to save anything when your housing costs are such an enormous portion of
your take home pay.”
She’s not alone…SCU officials say University wide, faculty and staff have been turning in their resignations practically daily.
“Over the course of the last year, we’ve lost at least 20 people from my division because
of the cost of living and needing to move somewhere where they can afford to live,” said SCU Vice President Jim Lyons, who calls it a crisis.
“The value of the people that we’re losing is not just what they can do, but what they bring to the Santa Clara family,” he said.
Santa Clara is hoping to stem the tide by building a new mixed use housing building across the street from campus.
It would house almost 300 university staff members, plus faculty from nearby Jesuit high schools Bellarmine College Prep and Cristo Rey.
“We want to be able to attract people and be able to retain them,” Lyons said.
But no one can build the housing fast enough, especially for Holzmeister, who will lose the apartment she shares with another professor next fall.
“I currently don’t have a place to live in six months. So I have to figure that out. And it’s difficult,” she said.
The university owns the land for the new development, but the property sits in the city of San Jose and is currently zoned for industrial uses, not housing.
The San Jose City Council is expected to vote on the proposed development, which also includes a tech incubator, in May.