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Two-Year Housing Exemption Request

Below is information on how to put in a request for an exemption to the university’s two-year housing requirement based on a disability need. It is incumbent upon the student to demonstrate how they would be denied equal access to a living environment or Cal Poly without a two-year housing exemption. Only a small percentage of students with disabilities have been approved for an exemption as requests must be reasonable under disability law [1]. The DRC strives to provide this service to students with well-documented and justifiable needs. 

What should I know about two-year housing exemption requests? 

  • The DRC will review how a student's on-campus living environment results in access that is unequal to their peers.  Accommodations to remedy on-campus housing access needs will be the priority (e.g., insomnia due to ambient noise might be accommodated through placement in a room that is not facing a parking lot).
  • A high volume of exemption requests are based on students wanting to live with a friend(s) who they believe will support their disability needs.  However, a particular person cannot be an accommodation. Roommate behavior can change, they may move-out, and roommates are not usually together throughout their day/while attending classes.  DRC staff are available to support students in exploring ways to manage disability needs as independently as possible.
  • The DRC has seen some requests that have been based on fear of the unknown when it comes to having new roommates.  We encourage students to consider how living on-campus provides access to Resident Advisors who can support students in navigating roommate agreements, challenges with neighbors, or a possible move to another on-campus unit without having to break a lease or being financially responsible for unexpected events.  

What is the process for requesting a two-year housing exemption due to a disability [2]? 

  • Complete the DRC's "Online Student Application" (there will be a place to upload disability documentation, if you have it).
  • If you are unsure if you have a disability, or do not know what type of disability, select "other" (in the application) and write a note about why you should be exempted from the housing requirement.  Feel free to skip any questions that do not apply to you, or write, "I don't know" or "Not Applicable". 

Online Student Application

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  • After you have completed the Online Student Application, we will contact you to schedule a meeting with an Access Specialist.
  • During the meeting, the Access Specialist will review your Student Application and any documentation you provided, discuss your needs, and let you know if you qualify for an accommodation plan.  If approved, the accommodation plan may include on-campus accommodations or an exemption to the two-year housing requirement.

Can I appeal a decision if I am not granted a two-year housing exemption?

If a student is not satisfied with the outcome, they may appeal the decision. Information about the campus grievance options can be found on the DRC's Forms webpage.


[1Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act
[2Disability is defined as a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or major bodily functions, and the person has a history or record of such an impairment or is perceived by others as having such an impairment. 

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Location: Bldg 124 (Student Services, across from Spanos Stadium)
Phone: 805-756-1395
Fax: 805-756-5451
Email: drc@calpoly.edu

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