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College Students to Gov. Newsom: Let Us Out of Our Leases!

Moments ago, Young Invincibles, the nation’s leading nonprofit policy and advocacy organization committed to creating economic opportunity for young adults ages 18 to 34 in California, sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom calling on him to allow college students to vacate their leases without financial penalty or negative rental history marks.

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted the health, education, and financial security of millions of California students who have seen their campuses close, lost their on- or near-campus jobs, and are currently separated from their families. As a result, many California students are currently locked into leases they can’t afford and are facing damaging their credit or — even worse — being evicted.

“California’s college students face unprecedented challenges as they navigate losing their jobs, adapting to the new realities of online and distance learning, and keeping their families healthy,” said Kristin McGuire, Western Regional Director for Young Invincibles, who sent the letter to Gov. Newsom. “With 75 percent of student jobs nationally being cancelled, delayed, or moved to remote work, many students have lost their job and are locked into leases they can’t afford. We commend the Governor’s leadership in enacting several programs to help California’s most affected residents, but college students are currently at risk of damaging their credit and financial health for years to come as they struggle to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Newsom has been a national leader in the fight against COVID-19, and now the state’s students need him to step up as well. We’re calling on the Governor to allow college students to end their leases without penalty or damage to their rental and credit histories. We look forward to working with the Governor on this bold, actionable plan to help California’s college students,” McGuire concluded.

Between 11 and 16 percent of CSU students live in on-campus housing, meaning the vast majority of CSU students live off-campus. Even at maximum capacity, state college dormitories could house just 44 percent of enrolled students systemwide. You can read the full text of the letter to Gov. Newsom here.