California's College Housing Crisis: What will it take to solve it?

College students across California are on the verge of being homeless as rising rents exacerbate longstanding shortages of student housing. In response, colleges and universities are trying a variety of solutions, from building partnerships to constructing new family housing.

Hear from students about how they have navigated housing barriers, learn from our panel of experts about solutions that colleges across the state are trying out and share your questions.

Read more about this roundtable.

Please scroll down for more information about the panelists.


Kenya Abner

Master’s student | Sacramento State University

Kenya Abner is a master’s student at Sacramento State University. She recently completed a fellowship at California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy, as part of Sacramento State’s Pathways Fellowship Program.

She recently wrote a commentary for EdSource about the housing challenges she and her husband had to navigate during their education journeys.

Keith Curry

President & CEO | Compton College

Keith Curry is the President/CEO of the Compton College and Compton Community College District (CCCD). Compton College is the 114th California Community College, achieving initial accreditation status on June 7, 2017. Curry is responsible for overseeing all departments and functions of Compton College and Compton District and serves as secretary for the CCCD Board of Trustees.

As President/CEO for Compton College, Curry is responsible for promoting student enrollment, success and retention, while working with the college’s vice presidents to develop strategic plans and procedures that enhance their academic and student services programs.

Under his leadership, many existing student services programs have been expanded and others created including the First Year Experience (FYE) program, and the Tartar Support program established in 2017 to offer a food pantry and other support for students facing food and housing insecurities. In addition, the Formerly Incarcerated Students in Transition (F.I.S.T.) program was established in fall 2016 and was honored with the prestigious Dr. John W. Rice Diversity & Equity Awards for Advancing Social Mobility by the Foundation for California Community Colleges just one year later.

Rashida Crutchfield

Associate professor in the School of Social Work | California State University, Long Beach

Rashida Crutchfield is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at California State University, Long Beach.

She earned a Master of Social Work at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from CSULB.  She worked for the National Conference for Community and Justice in Long Beach and the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri before serving on the Covenant House California staff.

Crutchfield has been a faculty member in the CSULB School of Social Work since 2007 as field faculty and lecturer.

Su Jin Gatlin Jez

Executive director | California Competes

Su Jin leads California Competes‘s work to develop nonpartisan and financially pragmatic recommendations for improved higher education and workforce policies and practices across California.

Prior to joining California Competes, she served as Associate Professor of Public Policy and Administration at California State University, Sacramento.

Through her applied research, she has provided guidance to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, the California State University system, and California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. She led a large scale study of the CCCCO’s Economic and Workforce Development Program and coauthored multiple reports analyzing the role of the California Community Colleges Career Technical Education in the college completion agenda.

Ethan Kaplan

Student | California State University, Northridge

Ethan Kaplan is a student at CSU Northridge in Southern California. He is in his final semester studying communications with a minor in English and entertainment media management.

Jo Mackness

Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, Student Affairs | University of California, Berkeley

Jo Mackness is assistant vice chancellor and chief operating officer of UC Berkeley’s Division of Student Affairs and a leader of several UC Berkeley and systemwide committees. She’s also the incoming staff advisor to the UC Regents.

Betty Márquez Rosales

Panel moderator; Reporter, EdSource

Betty Márquez Rosales is based in the Bay Area and covers juvenile justice, youth homelessness and other education topics. Before joining EdSource, she worked on reporting projects for Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley. Betty’s stories have appeared in The New York Times, Fusion, and local news publications across California. She has worked in education and communications, earned a Master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in gender studies from UC Santa Barbara.

Anne Vasquez

Panel moderator; CEO, EdSource

Anne Vasquez took the helm as EdSource’s chief executive in May 2021. Previously, she served as Director of Content and Strategic Initiatives at EdSource. In that role, she helped shape editorial strategy, grow partnerships and expand the organization’s footprint throughout California. Prior to joining EdSource, Anne was an executive at Tribune Publishing, where she most recently served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Digital Officer. She previously was the Managing Editor of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Anne began her career at The Miami Herald and the San Jose Mercury News, where she was an education reporter and later an editor.