A bill that would facilitate the development of on-campus housing at community colleges in New Jersey has been approved by the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
Three Democratic lawmakers crafted the bill upon learning that none of the 18 county colleges in New Jersey offer on-campus housing.
Aside from allowing the construction of residences, the bill would permit colleges to build dining halls and other service facilities for students.
The board of trustees of each college will be tasked to establish policies, rates, and maintenance conditions for students who would utilize these services.
“Students at four-year colleges and universities often have the choice to live on campus or commute to school. Students at community colleges should be able to consider the same options. This is particularly important as we work to make higher education more convenient, accessible, and affordable,” bill sponsors Eliana Marin, Wayne DeAngelo, and Craig Coughlin said.
Added Benefits of the Bill
The three sponsors of the bill believe that their initiative would allow students to study at colleges located outside of their county or region.
It would also reportedly help in addressing the issue of student homelessness. “This measure offers a common sense solution to benefit students and institutions alike,” the sponsors explained.
Additionally, schools will be able to acquire private property and convert it to public use under the measure.
The bill will be put up for the vote of the full New Jersey Assembly before it can be implemented.