Letter to the editor: I spend nearly half my income on rent and will never afford a home; vote yes on N

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To the editor:

In the wealthiest country, in one of the most expensive places to live, why can’t we guarantee that everyone has a place to live? With all this abundance, what is preventing it from being shared? If we housed everyone, we would ALL live in a more peaceful community.

I spend nearly half my income on rent and have almost zero hope of ever being able to buy a home in California, the state I was born and raised in. And I am one of the lucky ones, with a master’s degree and a stable job.

Can we imagine a Santa Cruz where everyone has a safe place to rest their head at night? What do we value as a community? How do you feel about the huge wealth disparities around us?

Housing is a human right and makes our neighborhoods safer. That is why I wholeheartedly support Measure N, the empty home tax. It gives homeowners who have more than they need the opportunity to give back and invest in affordable housing. For those who prefer not to pay the tax and rent out their extra homes, that frees up more housing. It is a step in the right direction for the city and county.

Erin Wood, UCSC graduate
Santa Cruz