Important Updates

The City Council has continued the hearing on the Village project to August 15th to allow the applicant to revise the project to meet specific design elements suggested by the council.  While any changes that move the project closer to the ACRH's proposed project alternative are welcome, the project still presents our community with major issues.  We have summarized these below:

  • The isolation of students in a managed facility rather than integrating them into our community.
  • The economics of this project with rents that key off the on-campus College Creek Apartments result in rental rates that are affordable to only the wealthiest student families.  This does not solve student housing problems that exist with middle and lower income student families and studies prove that projects like this increase rents for both students and non-students making housing less affordable for all Arcatans.
  • The Public Records Request documents reveal the clear intention of AMCAL to sell this project to HSU and to avoid the long-term tax obligations by making a one-time payment in leu of taxes, which short changes the City, local emergency services and local education who already struggle with budget shortfalls.
  • This project creates problems for our community too numerous to count.  Making small design changes will not mitigate fundamental social problems associated with isolating students; inadequate parking, traffic or safety infrastructure; housing affordability economic impacts; tax avoidance impacts; and ultimately ownership by a public entity that the City has no authority to regulate.  

This is a land-grab that hurts Arcata,  join us on August 15th at 6pm and be part of a movement that continues Arcata's tradition of welcoming students into our community!

Below are links to AMCAL's email explaining the project cash-flow and the Excel cashflow model that shows the millions of dollars in profit that is luring one of California largest developers to our community.  None of this tens of millions of dollars stays local, yet they are scheming to avoid paying their fair share of taxes and shifting that burden to Arcata tax-payers! Check it out:

Cash Flow Explaination Email (jpg)


AMCAL's Cash Flow Spreadsheet (JPG)


Local Union Joins Oppistion to The Village

Building and Construction Trades Council of Humboldt County pens letter to Arcata City Council


"It has come to the attention of Building and Construction Trades Council of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, that Humboldt State University is entering into a partnership with AMCAL and Coleraine Capital to circumvent states laws on prevailing wages.

We believe that this project is an underhanded end-run around state labor law that protects workers and the community. This is an affront to our community and our membership, a large number of whom work for the City of Arcata.

We urge you to reject this project, which hurts local workers, avoids state guidelines for hiring women and minorities, and does not build to the safety standards required of a dorm. Humboldt State has an obligation to operate transparently and in the best interests of the community. They are failing to uphold their responsibilities to students, their parents, and local workers.

The Building Trades Council will be conducting an investigation into the partnership and agreements for this development. We strongly urge the council not to approve this potentially illegal project.


Jeff Hunerlach, Secretary-Treasurer

Building and Construction Trades Council of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties

1330 Bayshore Way, Suite 103

Eureka, CA.  95501


About Us

Our Purpose

Arcata Citizens for Responsible Housing (ACRH) is a local, pro-housing, pro-infill, active transportation, and pro-student housing group. Our non-profit is unified against the proposed massive 800 student-only apartment project that is quaintly marketed as The Village. This student-only apartment project is proposed for the Craftsman’s Mall site in the city of Arcata.

  • We advocate for redevelopment of the Craftsman Mall site.
  • We support an increase in student housing in Arcata.
  • We believe a massive and isolated student-only apartment project does not help the Arcata community, nor does it provide the best housing for HSU students.
  • We support construction of a new dorm facility on or directly adjacent to the HSU campus, but not at the Craftsman’s Mall site.
  • We have engaged the Arcata community to develop a better plan for the Craftsman’s Mall site.
  • Our plan increases owner occupancy and student housing in the city.
  • Unlike this massive student-only apartment project that seeks to isolate and manage students, our plan has overwhelming support from the Arcata community.

Get Involved

Arcata Citizens for Responsible Housing's core strength is its membership.  We are made up of concerned Arcata citizens, students, property owners, and business owners.  If you reside in Arcata, own property in Arcata, or operate an Arcata business and you oppose a massive student-only apartment project that isolates students rather than integrates them into our community, you can make a difference by simply becoming a member.

For those that want to become active members, here are some of the ways our members can contribute:

  • Your voice - Providing input to our development alternatives to a massive student-only apartment project for the Craftsman's Mall site.  Speaking your concerns at public hearings.
  • Membership outreach - The larger our membership, the more powerful our collective voice.
  • Fundraising - It's not cheap opposing a major California corporation who stands to reap millions in profits through this project.
  • New friendships - Meeting people with whom you share a common concern and working together to keep Arcata the unique, integrated and wonderful place it is.

Who is AMCAL?

AMCAL is currently celebrating 40 years of some of the largest student housing real estate developments in California.  "The Graduate" student housing project shown above in San Jose helps us understand that they are not a good fit for our community.  The photo of their Promontory project (center circle) is very representative of the student-only apartment project proposed for our community. Apparently it is the smallest scale that would work for their financial model, which is their priority, not its impact on insolating our students from us and driving the cost of housing higher for both students and families. Its massive size would tower over Eye Street, Sunset, Westwood, and Janes Creek Meadow neighborhoods. Woefully insufficient parking would overflow into the neighborhood, sewage flows would have unknown impact on the local treatment plant and our beloved Marsh project. Its 800 additional students would further congest the already dangerous Sunset Avenue interchange, as well impact St. Louis, Spear and LK Wood.

Learn more about AMCAL at:

SAY NO TO "THE VILLAGE" because it's not a village at all - it's a massive student-only apartment project. ARCATA IS NOT SAN JOSE OR MONTEREY.  WE ARE ARCATA - SPECIAL LIKE NO OTHER PLACE ON EARTH!

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Working together, we will make a positive difference in the development of our community. Our promise: Your contribution will be used directly to support community-based plans and developments that involve us.

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Central to any request for donations is an understanding of those who are passionate about our charter and committed to the tireless and relentless effort that will produce success.

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Arcata Citizens For Responsible Housing



  • We strive to return emails within 24hrs of receipt.
  • Members will be notified of ACRH meetings, design & development input sessions, public hearings, and various outreach efforts.