Hotel/Bridge Housing FAQs

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Cal Poly Humboldt is committed to providing safe and supportive living and learning environments. The University currently offers both on and off-campus housing options, and we are working to secure more student residences.

While first-time students have priority for on-campus housing, 600 spaces are reserved for continuing and transfer students. Additionally, we have partnered with local hotels as part of our bridge housing program to provide an additional 100 spaces for students less than three miles from campus. For more information, please review the frequently asked questions below.

How is the University responding to the concerns of parents and students in regards to the availability of student housing? 

The University heard your concerns, and has revised the plan to set aside an additional 600 beds on campus and 100 off campus for incoming transfers and continuing students. 

Housing has long been a challenge in this area for students and community members. The off-campus residences available this next year are more than the University has ever offered, even when its enrollment was at an all-time high in 2015.

Leasing the hotels is a temporary solution while new campus housing is built. The Craftsman Mall Housing project is slated to open to about 1,000 residents in 2025, and other on-campus housing construction is planned. You can find preliminary information about all the housing projects here

As a returning student, what are my University housing options?

There are both on-campus and off-campus (bridge housing) accommodations available for continuing students. Currently, the University has reserved approximately 600 spaces for transfer and continuing students on campus, and another 100 in off-campus temporary housing.

What safety measures will be in place and how will you help keep our valuables in the rooms and in the parking lots of these places secure?

The hotels we have arranged for bridge housing will have completely fenced-in perimeters, and card access to each building and individual room. Hotel staff are at the front desk 24/7, and Housing & Residence Life staff will conduct rounds at each facility. In addition, our University Police Department has a satellite office in the Comfort Inn and patrols the area regularly with the Arcata Police Department.

Will my financial aid apply to the University-managed off-campus housing?

Yes! Like all on-campus residences, financial aid will apply to bridge housing.

Am I required to have a meal plan if I live in one of the bridge housing options or can I prepare and store my own food?  

Nope! You’re not required to have a meal plan, but most students do because it’s more convenient to eat on campus. Each hotel room provides a microwave and mini fridge combination, and we’re working on adding other options for students to cook their own meals.

Will there only be Cal Poly Humboldt residents in the hotels?

Yes, the hotels will be managed by University housing staff, and student residents and University staff are the only people staying at the hotel sites. The buildings are managed similarly to other residence halls, with housing programming and other amenities.

How will students get to and from class when they live in bridge housing? If transportation is being provided, how often will it come and what will the weekly schedule be?

In addition to municipal bus routes (which are supported by the University and students ride at no additional cost), the University provides shuttle services via the public safety ambassador program and plans to expand shuttle service and hours as part of its university-managed housing off campus. The Comfort Inn and other hotel properties are about 3 miles from the University center.

Why are we paying the same for less?

Actually, the cost for living in the off-campus housing options is about 5% less than the lowest on-campus options. Some of the hotels even have additional amenities not available on campus, like free breakfast and housekeeping services.

What are students saying about their experience living in the Comfort Inn?

Feedback from those residents has been overwhelmingly positive. They prefer living off campus and the independence that comes with it, and appreciate the convenience of shopping within walking distance and free housekeeping services and breakfast.

Will I have access to a lounge or community spaces in bridge housing? 

The Comfort Inn has a common area that will be available for evening programming and a swimming pool that residents can use. 

How will the University create a sense of community for students in bridge housing?

Both on-campus and bridge housing options have student Resident Advisors and professional staff who will live on site and will provide support and resources, plan community events, and address any issues and concerns that arise. The purpose of these staff members is to continue to connect students with each other, the campus, and the community. 

What is the last day to withdraw my housing application without financial penalty?

The last day to cancel your housing application for Fall 2023 and provide 30 days notice is July 14, 2023.
The Housing Office must receive cancellations by email to or through the myHousing portal by July 14. Cancellations to any other office do not satisfy the requirement to notify the Housing Office directly. Cancellations received after July 14 will be charged a daily prorated fee for each day less than the required 30 days notice for those students with a room assignment. For more information see the Housing website.

What resources are available to students who need special accommodations?

Housing and the Student Disability Resource Center will continue to work together to provide the accommodation that best meets the needs of registered SDRC students. Students who require disability-related accommodations can contact SDRC as soon as possible by emailing or calling (707) 826-4678. See the SDRC web site for more information.

Why didn’t the University wait until there was enough housing built before they enrolled so many students?

The University has been actively working to secure more student housing for years. While Humboldt has been below its enrollment goals for years, the University expects that the polytech transition will increase enrollment. With that transition came $458 million in state funds, some of which was allocated to build more student housing. The first new residence hall is expected to open in 2025, and more are in development

In the meantime, the bridge housing program is our plan to accommodate students until those buildings are complete.

Is the University looking at other options that are closer to campus? Why can’t you just take over a nearby apartment building?

Coordinating timely housing options requires large blocks of unoccupied buildings ready for immediate occupation, and hotels are really the best option for that.

What resources is the University providing for students who won’t be able to live on campus or at one of those hotels?

Cal Poly Humboldt provides support and resources listed on the Off-Campus Housing website for students who want to find their own housing in the community. Contact our Off-Campus Housing Coordinator at (707) 826-3451 or with questions.

Students who are unable to find permanent housing, or abruptly lose their housing are sometimes able to be housed temporarily on campus through the University’s Emergency Housing Program. This program is subject to availability. For more information email, or submit this self-referral form for CARE Services and indicate that you need assistance with housing.  

Why did Cal Poly Humboldt wait until after the Cal State priority transfer deadline to inform students that continuing students aren’t guaranteed on-campus housing? 

 The announcement was made to coincide with the opening of fall housing applications, and after Cal Poly Humboldt enrollment confirmations this spring began to present a clearer picture of new student enrollment and housing needs for fall. 

However, based on the feedback we heard from students and families, the University set aside an additional 600 beds on campus and 250 off campus for incoming transfers and continuing students. We are also exploring other creative solutions to secure more University-managed options off campus.

How many students currently live in on-campus housing? 

There are currently 2,069 students living in on-campus residences. There are an additional 96 in the Comfort Inn property. The University expects to have about 1,000 returners —those who are currently living on campus who may return and request on-campus housing — needing housing next year, based on historical data and demand.

Why does Cal Poly Humboldt prioritize providing on-campus housing for first year students over transfer and continuing students?

Cal Poly Humboldt believes that first year students benefit most from on-campus housing, and as such, has always prioritized students who are new to campus for on-campus residences. There has never been enough on-campus housing available to offer it for all enrolled students, and many choose to seek their own housing off campus. This bridge housing plan increases the total number of campus residences to more than it’s ever been. While all students could benefit from the on-campus experience, returning on campus residents are more familiar with campus and the community. 
The University has secured additional accommodations off campus for 250 students and continues to explore options for additional properties to meet the anticipated demand for university housing, anticipating to secure approximately 1,000 additional beds.

Is the University planning to house students on a boat?

The University has been looking into many creative solutions to provide additional high-quality and affordable housing for students. The idea of floating apartments or studios is one of many possibilities the University has been exploring. 

Are there plans to increase the parking on campus to match the needs of the growing campus population? 

Building new campus parking facilities, in addition to new campus residence halls and new off-campus housing, as the University grows are part of the University’s preliminary plans. More details are here on the polytechnic website.

How long will the University use bridge housing? 

The Craftsman Mall Housing project is expected to open for residents in 2025, and enrollment is expected to continue expanding, so for the next several years.

If I currently live on-campus, can I reserve my same room for next year? 

Unfortunately, no that is not an option this year. Students who are able to select their room, will get to select from rooms available at that time. Students assigned to a room will be assigned based on their preferences and what is available at that time.