Yes, there is a housing crisis in Santa Cruz

So, what do we do?

I very much want to see a housing bond put forward to purchase, fix up, and maintain houses and apartments as affordable units, in perpetuity. $250 million to $300 million countywide bond would likely add less than $20 to everybody’s property bill. It should be on the November 2018 ballot.

I have fears that working with for-profit developers will yield few units of affordable housing, and not very much is collected in in-lieu fees either, given the enormous need we have. As a community, we’ve got to demand more affordable units from for-profit developers than previous councils have in the name of the community.

I would like to work with council colleagues and the community to address our Santa Cruz housing crisis…My interests include:

  1. limiting the number of short-term rentals (right now we passed an ordinance that limits it to 550 permits. I voted no because I thought around 300 permits seemed right.)
  2. incentivizing the building of ADUs (accessory dwelling units in back of main house)
  3. passing a just-cause eviction ordinance to protect tenants
  4. confronting the university on its growing student body and non-growing bed space problem and limit them to housing all of their students over 19,500;
  5. seriously begin tackling the rising and pervasive community challenge of homelessness and houselessness. We need a 24/7 emergency shelter, some of the bond money should be included for a shelter.

Let’s keep each other apprised on these issues and make sure we show up at meetings, discussions and forums to make our case that, a) this is what a housing crisis looks like and b) we are not mourning, we are organizing renters, homeowners, students and the homeless alike.

You are not alone in your concerns, and we must be ready to show up when it counts most (like the next three city council meetings), advocate for affordability, vote, and keep talking to our neighbors as we search for solutions together.

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