San Jose City Council approves deal that will convert hotel rooms into student housing

Students at San Jose State University may soon have more housing. San Jose City Council approved a deal between a nearby Hilton hotel and the university, allowing the school to lease a tower of the hotel for student housing.  

Housing insecurity is a big concern for some students at San Jose State, so this welcomed news. But with so many big events coming up like the Super Bowl, some say the hotel rooms may be needed.  

"I know like a lot of kids do live in apartment buildings off campus because there isn’t enough housing," said Sofia, a San Jose State student.   

San Jose State University is taking steps to add more student housing. The university plans to lease a tower at the Signia by Hilton Hotel in San Jose after the tower is sold to a 3rd party. More than 700 rooms will then be converted into student housing.  

"I think more housing would always be helpful. It’s never going to be a bad thing for students to have more access to affordable housing," said Kristen Weaver, Sr. Case Manager for SJSU Cares.   

SJSU Cares supports students through its food pantry and providing housing assistance. Weaver says 11% of students reported experiencing homelessness at some point in 2020. Still with multiple large events like Super Bowl and the World Cup planned in 2026, finding a hotel room may become more difficult. This man is in town for a conference and says finding a hotel room wasn’t easy.    

"With five hotels on that list, it was still a challenge to get a hotel room for the whole week," said Nicolas Ruffini, Pennsylvania.   

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As San Jose State continues working to provide more student housing, Weaver says affordable local housing is key for student success. 

"The students are really in need of a lot of support and education is such an important way to be able to improve people’s situations," Weaver said.   

San Jose State says it’s still negotiating this deal with the hotel owner and when they’ve made significant progress, they’ll release their final plans for new student housing.