Berkeley City Council awards Co-ops $45K for Accessibility Renovations

The Berkeley City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 to award a $45,000 grant for disabled accessibility improvements, including a ramp at Hillegass Parker House, located at 2545 Hillegass Avenue.
Fifty-seven graduate, re-entry students, visiting scholars, and faculty call Hillegass Parker House their home every semester. The project, which is scheduled to start this summer, represents the first phase of making the house accessible to students with mobility impairments, not only to visit, attend meetings and events hosted there, but also to live.
Co-op members rallied to show their support for the proposal. Many attended meetings of the Housing Advisory Commission and City Council, holding signs and speaking in favor of the project. Co-op members shared how the affordable, accessible housing the Co-op already provides has eased their college experience. Kat Moore, a resident of Wilde House located at 2410 Warring Street, said, “Wilde is not only my home. It’s the first place I’ve ever felt comfortable being myself.”
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates said, “The Co-op is our community’s most important provider of affordable housing to college students.” 
The Co-op provides quality, affordable housing in the Berkeley area to over 1250 college students. Construction on the ramp is scheduled for August 2006, and is only one part of the Co-op-wide accessibility renovation project.  This will be the fourth grant the Co-op has received through the City of Berkeley’s Community Development Block Grant program.