California bill would allow homeless college students to sleep in campus parking lots

California bill would allow homeless college students to sleep in campus parking lots
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A bill proposed in the California State Assembly would allow homeless community college students to sleep in their vehicles in campus parking lots, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The bill is reportedly aimed at combatting California’s increasing homeless problem — particularly among college students — as property values and rent prices soar in the state.

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The legislation, introduced Wednesday by state Rep. Marc Berman (D), would require the California Community Colleges System to open parking lots and garages at night to any enrolled student in good standing, the newspaper reported.

“Over the last two years, I’ve heard from too many students that they don’t have stable housing and often end up sleeping in their cars. Unfortunately, this is all too common throughout California, with one in four community college students experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness,” Berman said in a statement.

State law already mandates that community colleges make shower facilities on campus accessible to homeless students, the Bee noted.

More than 2.1 million students at 114 campuses are enrolled in the state's community colleges, it added.

Studies have shown rising food and housing insecurity among college students, with California especially feeling the pinch.

Berman said his ultimate goal is building affordable housing for low-income and homeless students in California.

“The long-term solution is to build more housing, but while we work to make that a reality, AB 302 is a step that we can take now to ensure that homeless students have a safe place to sleep at night,” he said.