ONLY on 4: Bay Area Army veteran scrambles for housing after college forces him out of dorm

BELMONT (KRON) — An army veteran awarded a Purple Heart is now pursuing higher education back home in the Bay Area.

The problem is, the college he has been accepted to attend denied housing to him, along with other veterans, only a month before school starts.

Combat veteran Ivan Zamora is working toward a bachelor’s degree at Notre Dame de Namur University at the age of 31 after he retired from the army.

“I was actually in math class when the whole 9/11 happened and I knew at that moment what I wanted to do when I got out,” Zamora told KRON4. “I wanted to serve.”

But the other day, Zamora was denied on-campus housing at Notre Dame de Namur University in an email that explained he is over the age limit of 25 years old to qualify. A rule that wasn’t enforced last semester when he lived in the dorms.

“It’s called New Hall,” Zamora explained. “It’s the only hall that they offered and they said that I’d be able to stay there. It’s the only hall that you could drink alcohol in. And anybody that was an upperclassman could stay at that hall.”

But this fall, the rule is being implemented although Zamora says applicants weren’t notified before sending in their paperwork along with a $50 non-redundable fee.

This leaves him and at least six other veterans scrambling for an apartment within a month before classes begin – amid sky rocketing rent in the Peninsula.

“It’s not enough time,” Zamora said. “They said by mid-July. It’s now the end of July. They really didn’t care the kind of situation they’d put the student in.”

Air Force veteran Francisco Rodriguez said off camera he too was told there would be no problem when he applied to the university in the spring.

But he was also denied housing this week.

They are now left looking for a studio that averages around $2,500 a month.

Zamora says the GI Bill offers around $3,000 but is used for more than just rent.

“And it’s just hard to know that you come back and you’re not welcome with open arms.”

A Notre Dame de Namur University spokesperson says they’re looking into the situation and couldn’t say more at this time.



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