We want to bring light to the housing crisis in Isla Vista. Currently, students are forced to live in over populated, dense houses that can have as many as three people per room. When a person gets infected with COVID-19 while living in one of these houses, they are able to spread the virus to more people and are unable to self-quarantine. Students in Isla Vista come from all around the world, so when one student becomes infected in Isla Vista, they take that virus back home with them and expose their other family members and/or friends. Ultimately, this puts the entire community at risk. UCSB, as a relatively wealthy institute, had the means to provide adequate alternative housing during this pandemic, but failed to do so. They left university-owned housing mostly unoccupied leaving many students and community members struggling to find a safe and healthy place to live while in quarantine. UCSB has not offered better alternatives to students in need of housing that provides them with adequate resources and safety.
The pandemic has revealed a history of housing issues in Isla Vista such as: getting rid of density laws, increased power to IV landlords, and high rent. UCSB has perpetuated the risk of the disease because of their allowance of this power dynamic between the students and the housing companies. In addition, UCSB nor the landlords have done anything to minimize the risk of spread by not taking action towards people breaking COVID guidelines. In turn, many students have been infected as well as many essential workers in or around this area.
This is important to note because many students do not have the opportunity to live elsewhere during this pandemic. Many people are dying as a result of institutions, like UCSB, not adequately enforcing COVID restrictions in their community. Real estate companies in Isla Vista have taken advantage of the pandemic to suit their own needs. We hope that this project can shed light on the various issues this pandemic has brought about and hold UCSB and the housing companies running IV accountable for their actions. We hope that serious changes can be made through to ensure a more wholesome and safe community.