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To the editor:
As a homeowner and landlord in Santa Cruz for the past 12 years, I have seen rental prices skyrocket such that many of my friends who must rent simply can no longer afford. This has forced them to leave Santa Cruz.
This is destroying our town. The lack of rental housing units, the pressure from UCSC, the CZU fire and from remote Silicon Valley workers has driven rental prices to among the highest in the nation. Measure N is a small step forward that would help solve the Santa Cruz housing crisis.
Despite what the “no on N” campaign would have you believe, there is nothing invasive nor extreme about the provisions of this measure. Fill out a one-page form once a year? Pay no fees if my houses are occupied? Simple. The beauty of Measure N is that it puts pressure on the land speculators, the uber-rich who are using Santa Cruz real estate to inflate their investment portfolios.
If they must keep their second and third houses empty and deprive the rental market of more housing stock, then they ought to pay a $6,000 tax (a mere pittance compared to the sale prices of these homes). What is extreme is the Santa Cruz housing market, not Measure N.