The affordable housing crisis in Santa Cruz County affects each of us daily: a favorite teacher moves out-of-state when they can’t find housing locally, a barista working two jobs just to afford rent; a friend who has been couch-surfing or living in a vehicle; a family unable to purchase a small starter home because the few houses on the market go to cash-only buyers.
“It’s devastating when you consider how deep of an impact the lack of affordable housing has on our community,” said Jordan Taylor, a recent college graduate. “Seeing so many people in our community struggle to get housed and stay housed is part of what inspired me to engage in this work.”
Taylor, who lived in multiple affordable housing complexes in Santa Cruz in his youth, now works with Housing Santa Cruz County to advocate for the development of more affordable housing. The organization, which launched in 2021, strives to transform Santa Cruz County into a thriving community where everyone has a place to call home.
Like Taylor, everyone in Santa Cruz County knows someone who is deeply affected by the housing affordability crisis and the shortage of reasonably priced rental housing. Through participation with and support of Housing Santa Cruz County, there now are ways for individuals and organizations to make a difference.
Housing Santa Cruz County is working across the county, engaging with citizens, businesses, community organizations and elected leaders to advocate for and promote affordable, safe, stable homes for residents and local workers.
There have been some real successes already! In the near future, there will be groundbreakings for five new affordable housing developments, thanks in part to Housing Santa Cruz County’s advocacy efforts to secure disaster tax credits. This funding pushed these projects over the finish line. Once completed, the developments will house more than 350 families.
“We are proud of this progress, but also know there is so much more to do because the magnitude of the affordable housing challenge is so large. We all must engage in this affordable housing work to achieve the change and progress we need.”
— Don Lane, Chair of the Housing Santa Cruz Governing Board
Growing the organization to create a larger network of advocates for affordable housing efforts is key to future success. As Housing Santa Cruz County celebrates its first anniversary, it has put together a wide array of events and programs to mark Affordable Housing Month in May to connect with the public and inspire more locals to take actions.
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Be a part of this essential housing advocacy work today:
- Join HSCC’s email list to get plugged in to Housing Santa Cruz County news and calls to action.
- Make a contribution to support the ongoing work of our movement.
- Engage and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help spread the word.
“From medical workers to mechanics, farmworkers to teachers and other essential workers, we rely on each other to create and maintain a strong, healthy, diverse community,” said HSCC Vice Chair Diana Alfaro. “Housing Santa Cruz County wants to make sure we all have a safe, affordable place to call home.”
Celebrate with Housing Santa Cruz CountyOn May 1st from 2-4pm at Cabrillo College’s Sesnon House, come kick off Affordable Housing Month and celebrate Housing Santa Cruz County’s first anniversary! Availability is limited.Sunday, May 1, 2022 - 2:00 PM