Housing and Accommodations

Relocation and Housing Meetings

View the slide deck from the Housing & Relocation Meeting on June 16th, 2021.

Tenant Resume: The Tenant Resume is a “cheat sheet” for your personal use to help you complete rental application forms. It is NOT a rental application form. The application form is given to you by the landlord, leasing agent, or the property manager of the rental for which you wish to apply. Complete one for each adult in your household.

Cal Rentals

Cal Rentals has listings of local rentals and is available to students, faculty, staff and visiting scholars. Incoming visiting scholars can have access to this listing when they have an approved appointment from our office (Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs Program). If your appointment has already begun and you have a Cal Net ID, you can register by going to the following link and then pressing "Sign Up" under "UCB Students, Faculty and Staff". When you register, you should list your affiliation as "Faculty/Staff": https://och.berkeley.edu/registration 

  • If you are an incoming affiliate and do not yet have your Cal ID, go to the following link to register and select "Guest Type" as "Incoming Faculty/Staff": https://och.berkeley.edu/registration/guest
  • After registering, you will then be asked to provide proof of affiliation. To verify your affiliation, send an email to calrentals@berkeley.edu with your appointment dates, your affiliation (postdoc, visiting scholar, visiting student researcher), and a copy of your VSPA appointment letter that is automatically generated when your appointment has been approved by VSPA. 
  • Once your affiliation has been verified, you will be able to access Cal Rentals and browse its listings. 

The Cal Rentals website has compiled useful information under a tab titled "Resources" that covers topics such as "Rental Housing Safety" to "When to Look". 


Rentable (formerly ABODO) is a free, online, third-party resource (not affiliated with UC) that advertises rental vacancies. Type 'Berkeley CA' in the search box to examine rental listings in and near Berkeley. Use the filters to fine-tune your search criteria. Click here to access Rentable.

Postdocnet Listserv

Our office also maintains a mailing list (it is called the postdocnet listserv, but visiting scholars and landlords also subscribe to this list). Subscribers often post ads like furniture for sale, housemates wanted, or room/apartment available. You can subscribe by going to this link here. After subscribing to the listserv, you can receive postings from members that include landlords or send postings by simply emailing an announcement to postdocnet@lists.berkeley.edu

Craigslist Bay Area

This is a public listing site from people all over the Bay Area. It is widely used by landlords and property managers to advertise rental vacancies in and near Berkeley. Individuals also advertise furniture, household goods, and many other items they want to sell or give away. Please be aware that this is not a university-affiliated resource and to be wary of any scams. 
Craigslist Bay Area


This is the go-to resource for visiting academics from to see furnished rental advertisements near academic institutions world-wide. Here you will find the homes of Berkeley faculty who are going on sabbatical leave and other professionals who seek to rent to like-minded people coming to Berkeley to teach or do research. The typical rental is for a semester or an academic year, although many of the rental listings are for flexible periods.



HouseStay: HouseStay offers a curated selection of fully furnished turnkey apartments and homes available for rent for 30 nights or more. The cost is calculated by how many nights you reside in the rental, similar to a hotel. The monthly costs advertised on this site are often much higher than typical rents.

Padmapper: This website maps out apartments, letting you filter for exactly what you want in specific areas. 

HotPads: Similar to Padmapper, HotPads is another map-based rental search website. 

Air BnB: Air BnB connects people who have spare rooms, entire apartments, or entire single-family homes with those who are looking for a place to stay and is particularly useful for in need of short-term housing accommodations. Some properties may be available for longer periods; to explore, set your ideal date parameters to see what, if any, rentals might be offered for the length of your stay. 


Married or partnered postdocs without children or postdocs who live with children under age 18 or with dependent minors for at least 50% of the year are eligible to apply for a slight chance of an offer of housing in the University's Family Student Housing in University Village Albany (UVA), located approximately 4 miles from the Berkeley main campus. For more information, please visit this website.

Berkeley International Office also has a page with resources and tips on finding houses on their website here


CalRentals has a list of services that they provide to postdoctoral and visiting scholars, and has compiled a list of information covering topics from "Rental Housing Safety" to "When to Look". 

Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board


Great Schools: A website that assists in selecting a school district that suits your family's needs. 

Procedures for Berkeley School Enrollment: This pdf handout gives information on how to enroll your children in Berkeley public schools. You may find it useful to examine the entire school district's website (Berkeley Public Schools) for descriptions of the schools and the philosophies that guide the district.


Albany has three elementary schools, and school assignment is generally based on the proximity of the home. (Albany schools will be undergoing seismic retrofitting and expansions over the next few years, so be sure to refer to the AUSD website frequently for news about closures during the work.)

El Cerrito (which is in the West Contra Costa Unified School District) has an assignment policy similar to Albany for its elementary schools.

Kensington has only one elementary school, Hilltop, which serves children from Kindergarten through sixth grade, and then students move on to El Cerrito schools for middle and high school.

Oakland may or may not assign students to the elementary school nearest home, as some of the more popular elementary schools in north Oakland (closest to Berkeley) may be oversubscribed in certain grade levels.


Early Childhood Education Program, U.C. Berkeley. The University offers limited openings in its Early Childhood Education Program (ECEP) to visiting scholars. Waiting lists are long. There are three infant/toddler facilities and three preschools in Berkeley near campus. There is also a Toddler and Preschool program in University Village Albany (a housing complex primarily for registered U.C. Berkeley students). Visit the website to learn more.

Your personal preferences in the manner in which both play and education are handled mean that only you can determine which childcare/preschool situation is right for your family. In addition to the University's childcare (see above), there are several preschools in and near Berkeley that academic parents have liked: In Berkeley: CornerstoneWoolly MammothSproutsLittle BeansThe New School, and The Berkeley School (Montessori) to name a few. Then there's Claremont Day Nursery, with facilities in three locations (the Kensington location is off Colusa Circle, right at the borders ofBerkeley/Albany/El Cerrito/Kensington), Albany Preschool in Albany, and  Pride and Joy Preschool in El Cerrito.

This is by no means a complete list. For more information, subscribe to the Berkeley Parents Network and contact Bananas, both excellent resources for information on infant care and preschools. See below.

BPN, is the Berkeley Parents Network. BPN started as a way for UC Berkeley grad students, faculty and staff who were parents to keep one another informed about preschools, nanny shares, babysitters and other issues of importance to academic families. It has since grown to include parents who live in Berkeley and nearby East Bay Area communities and is now a non-profit organization. Of particular interest is the Marketplace newsletter with inexpensive or free furniture offerings and some rental housing listings. Subscribing is free for parents.

Bananas is a local childcare referral and information resource.