UC Merced, Merced College to build $100 million housing facility for qualifying students

UC Merced and Merced College are teaming up to build a new $100 million housing facility for community college and transfer students.

UC Merced and Merced College leaders believe the 488-student bed housing project will address a housing shortage that affects low-income residents in the area.

The California Legislature gave approval for funding of the project Wednesday.

“Our institutions are deeply committed to improving lives for our students and our community, and this is another manifestation of that mission,” said UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sanchez Munoz.

The Promise Housing facility will be available to income-qualified community college students on UC Merced’s campus. These are students who have met the qualifications of the “Merced Promise” transfer agreement, which was signed in November of 2020.

The “Merced Promise” was intended to launch a transfer pipeline between Merced College and UC Merced to make it easier for local students to go through the community college then transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree at the local four-year university.

This project will offer students affordable housing.

The current plan is for both two-bedroom and four-bedroom apartments to be constructed in an area south of UC Merced’s 2020 Project expansion, which is currently a parking area.

The housing project also will include a shaded area and an outdoor meeting and assembly space.

“This joint affordable housing project will be a game-changer for our historically underserved region, removing barriers for our students seeking to transfer to UC Merced,” Merced College president Chris Vitelli said, “and providing them with an opportunity to complete their transfer degree at Merced College while fulling engaging in campus life at UC Merced,”

A start date for construction of the housing project has yet to be determined, but the project is a priority for the university, according to UC Merced spokesperson Sam Yniguez.