Off-Campus Housing Search FAQ

How do I find off-campus housing and a roommate?

For housing, start with CCA's Off-Campus Listings and Roommate Search Database. Also, many CCA students post roommate requests on CCA’s Facebook App.

What are the closest neighborhoods to CCA's two campuses?

The Oakland campus is located at 5212 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94618 and the San Francisco campus is located at 1111 8th Street, San Francisco CA 94107-2247.

Rockridge is the nearest neighborhood to the Oakland campus. Other neighborhoods in proximity are Piedmont, Lake Merritt, and Temescal. Nearby cities include Emeryville and Berkeley, both of which have major bus and metro routes that stop at close proximity to the Oakland campus.

The San Francisco campus is located in the lower Potrero Hill neighborhood (close to the design district). Nearby neighborhoods include SOMA (South of Market), the Mission, and Bernal Heights.

San Francisco's public transportation system conveniently connects all neighborhoods to the campus.

What's a lease?

A lease is a legal agreement that defines the relationship and rental terms between renter and landlord. See for relevant information about leases (including a sample lease).

What should I do before I sign a lease?

Before signing a lease, do a thorough inspection of the apartment:

  • Walk through each room and make a list of any and all damage
  • Make sure the place looks clean and well maintained
  • Check for mold in the bathrooms and kitchen
  • Make sure that all the doors open and close properly
  • Check the locks on the front (and back doors)
  • Open and close blinds
  • Turn on and off all faucets
  • Flush the toilet
  • light the burners on the stove, etc.

If anything is broken, worn or weathered, or appears it might break soon, ask the landlord to have it fixed before signing a lease. Know who makes necessary repairs once you've moved in, how long it takes for repairs to be addressed, and who (if anyone) has a key to the unit.

It is also essential that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a renter, as well as what rights your landlord has. Review your vital renter's rights before you look for an apartment.

Nolo Press offers a wealth of affordable renter- and landlord-specific, easy-to-understand books. To name just a few:

  • California Tenants' Rights
  • Break Your Lease Without Breaking the Law
  • Renters' Rights: The Basics
  • The California Landlord's Law Book: Rights & Responsibilities

Finally, don't allow a landlord or property manager to pressure or bully you. If something doesn't feel right or look right, trust your instincts.

The apartment I'm considering isn't furnished. Where can I find affordable furniture?

Craigslist is a reliable resource for used furniture from locals. For new furniture, you can shop at large retailers in the area such as, IKEA, Target, WalMart, and Costco. There are also well-stocked thrift stores and consignment shops along College Avenue, Broadway near downtown Oakland, Valencia Street, and Haight Street.

Is there anything else I should think about before I sign the lease and move in?

Yes! If you haven't already considered it, think about how you'll commute to campus. If you don't have a car, is your apartment near public transportation? Conversely, if you own a car, is parking available? Is neighborhood parking regulated?Does your building have reserved spaces for tenants?How difficult is it to find street parking?

Think about services and resources, like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, coffee shops, and so forth. Are they located nearby? If travel is necessary, how will you get there? Understand what your neighborhood has to offer, as well as its shortcomings before you sign a lease.

If I live further away from either campus and don’t have a car, how will I get to campus?

The closest bus stops to the Oakland campus are serviced by AC Transit and are routes 51A and 12. The closest metro stop is the Rockridge BART station, roughly a 15-minute walk to the campus.

The closest bus stops to the San Francisco campus are serviced my MUNI and are routes 22, 10, and 19. CalTrain is also in close proximity to the campus and can be a good transportation alternative for students who choose to live in the cities south of San Francisco.

What are my transportation options?

MUNI is a network of buses, underground, and aboveground railways for San Francisco

AC Transit  is the local transportation network of buses for Oakland and other East Bay cities

BART is the primary metro system that connects with stops at multiple Bay Area cities and airports.

CalTrain is the major rail service with stops at cities throughout the Peninsula.

Golden Gate Transit is the bus network that links San Francisco to various North Bay cities

San Francisco Bay Ferry is the primary water transportation system for the Bay Area.  

Is My Neighborhood Safe?

Crime exists in almost every large, urban environment. Oakland and San Francisco are no exception. Each city has its most and least desirable areas. Google can provide extensive information about a specific neighborhood you're interested in.

However, the best way to decide if you will feel safe in a particular area is to visit and spend time in that location. We recommend students begin their search for off-campus accommodations six to eight weeks prior to arrival at CCA.