Summer transitional housing

To assist with the increasing demands of finding quality housing, UC Berkeley offers a summer transitional housing program for postdocs and visiting scholars. This program provides furnished apartments on flexible short-term leases without the need for a security deposit. Located at the New Sequoia Apartments just blocks from campus, both single and double occupancy rooms are available. Leases end on August 13th with the expectation that individuals have found permanent off-campus housing by that time.   

Please see the following link for more details: https://housing.berkeley.edu/transition-housing

For more information please call (510) 642-5796 or email summerhousing@berkeley.edu

Local neighborhoods

There are several neighborhoods close to the Cal campus (within five miles). The most common are: Berkeley, Berkeley Hills, Kensington, Albany, El Cerrito, Oakland, and Emeryville. Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill (located approximately 15 miles east of campus) and San Francisco (about 15 miles west of campus) are also nice options.

Northside/North Berkeley: North Berkeley is quieter than the south side of campus (see below) and boasts charming apartments, single-family homes, and co-operational housing. Many graduate students and postdocs live on the Northside, as it is conveniently located to campus and has a wide range of housing values. The Gourmet Ghetto, located on Shattuck Avenue, is full of great restaurants and located close-by. However, it is also known to be $$$.

Berkeley Hills/Kensington: Located in the hills north/east of campus, this part of town boasts large, single-family homes along winding, tree-lined streets. Postdocs may easily find houses, rooms for rent, and in-law apartments, some with great views of the city. Tilden Park borders this neighborhood, featuring hiking, swimming, picnic areas, and golf course. Commuting to campus might be a challenge but frequent bus transfer is available.

Southside: A college student-oriented section of town south of the Cal campus. Full of cafes, restaurants, record stores, and street vendors on Telegraph Avenue. However, it is not known for being a quiet neighborhood. 

Downtown Berkeley: Located adjacent to the west side of campus, downtown boasts restaurants, shops on or close to Shattuck Avenue, and most of the bars in Berkeley can be found here. The Downtown Berkeley BART station is also located here, making it convenient to travel to the city.

Albany: Single-family houses and rentals can be found north/west of Berkeley in the city of Albany. This city is popular with postdocs with children because of the good school system. University Village, a large, University-owned family student housing complex, is also a popular option for families. However, spots for postdocs are low in number and term-limited at around 18 months. Please call University Village directly to inquire [510.526.8505 (Village Office) and 510-642-4109 (Cal Housing)].

El Cerrito: Located north of Albany, El Cerrito has many large shopping centers and is close to two BART stations.

Oakland: Dispel any misconceptions you may have about Oakland! There are several cute neighborhoods in Oakland, the most popular of which is Rockridge. Close to the Rockridge BART, this neighborhood boasts lots of cute restaurants close to apartments and single-family homes.

Emeryville: Close to the Bay Street shopping center, new apartment housing has been popping up in the past decade. Take a free shuttle to the MacArthur BART station to commute to campus.

Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill: Apartments and single-family houses abound in this safe suburb, which is just a BART ride away. This neighborhood is also home to the Broadway Plaza center, full of restaurants and shops.

San Francisco: Made up of lots of smaller neighborhoods, San Francisco is a great place to live if you enjoy city life. Several BART stations, located on Market Street, provide a commute to campus.

Additional information and resources:

Berkeley parents network

Berkeley Spouses, Partners, and Parents Association

Living at Cal


SF Gate: Downtown Berkeley

SF Gate: San Francisco

Sabbatical homes

Earthquake Preparedness

UC Berkeley and other parts of the Bay Area lie on the Hayward fault zone, putting us at high risk of earthquakes.  If you'd like to make an earthquake preparedness kit, it should include water, ready to eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, high energy foods (and don't forget about food for your pets!), vitamins, first aid (soap, bandages, scissors, tweezers, non-prescription pain relievers etc.), plates/utensils, battery-operated radio, flashlight, batteries, tape, matches, paper and pens, etc.

You can find more ressources on earthquakes and other emergency events including the possibility for registering for the emergency notification system WarnMe on the website of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. More information on earthquakes can be found on the website of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program.