Letter to the editor: Thanks for covering the unhoused; where is the coverage of people with two homes?

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To the editor:

I wanted to comment on a recent article you had on the visibility of individuals without homes.

I agree the increasing number of individuals without homes is devastating our community and symptoms of the problem are a very visible reality now. I have faith we can solve this problem despite the despair.

What I don’t see very visible is the number of individuals with more than one home or property readily visible and as available for interview on this issue as the homeless seem to be. It’s unfair to expect those most impacted by the problem to be expected to solve it alone.

Without this simple area data displayed publicly, I can see why our situation is hard to solve given our geographic and socioeconomic constraints.

I am curious if, after a homeless census was done, there is also a second home/business ownership census that could be displayed on a map.

This includes:

  • Empty retail/for lease business spaces (hotels, motels, stores, etc.).
  • Secondary homes that are rented out as a business (long-term rentals, vacation rentals, etc.).
  • Number of individuals without homes and their distribution on a map.
  • Number of individuals with two homes and their distribution on a map.
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I really appreciated the previous article on housing affordability and the calculation done to figure out what the minimum wage is necessary to rent a two-bedroom apartment. I am curious as to what minimum wage would be necessary to afford buying one home in this county as well as two homes, as seems to be the standard now to afford to live here.

On top of that, calculating what a person would have to make to own one home and run a business that they pay rent on vs. own outright. I’m curious how a business owning its building instead of renting plays a part in why people choose to invest in buying a second home rather than starting a business despite the need for primary homes.

Thanks so much for covering the key issues in this county. I have faith we have the tools and data we need to solve these issues as a community and for our community.

Santa Cruz
Renter who has been working for 20 years locally and aspires to one day afford to have children and run a local business that can afford to pay workers a wage that can buy them a home in the community they serve.

Editor’s note: Lookout verified the identity of this author, who prefers to use only initials for fear of retaliation by a landlord.