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Cal Poly names new off-campus housing support program coordinator 

Sarah Bacio

Sarah Bacio.

Program aims to help students successfully transition from on- to off-campus housing

– Cal Poly has named Sarah Bacio as coordinator of its Off-Campus Housing Support Program, which seeks to help students successfully transition from living on campus to off-campus within the San Luis Obispo community.

Bacio will help students identify and secure affordable and safe off-campus housing, assist in identifying resources to assist with housing expenses, and provide opportunities to help them better understand the off-campus housing market, according to the college.

In her new role, she will also offer a Renter Certification series to educate participating students on various aspects of off-campus housing to improve the renter experience for both students and landlords.

“Every year we hear from students, especially third- and fourth-year students, that securing off-campus housing is one of the biggest challenges they face,” said Joy Pedersen, Cal Poly’s dean of students. “And these challenges have increased dramatically in the past two years. The high cost of housing and the lack of affordable housing present complex challenges for students.”

Bacio is a graduate of Humboldt State University (now Cal Poly Humboldt) and served in a variety of coordinator and career advising roles there before joining Cal Poly in 2021 as a coordinator for the Cal Poly Scholars program.

Her latest appointment comes on the heels of the university establishing the Off-Campus Housing Support Program within the Office of the Dean of Students earlier this year. The program was developed to help students overcome the ongoing challenge of accessing and securing affordable housing in the San Luis Obispo community. With some students experiencing rent increases of up to 20 percent, Pedersen noted that these issues are particularly challenging for low-income and Pell-eligible students, including those with dependents.

“While there is much to be done to address local and statewide housing issues, this program is a way to start helping students navigate the competitive rental market and to support students who are struggling to secure affordable housing,” Pedersen said.

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