If you are a homeowner and live in your home while hosting a short-term renter I do not believe the city will be targeting you, per se, and there will be 350 permits available soon to “hosted” STR’s. If you own a non-hosted STR then this is a situation I see as troublesome, in terms of offering up scarce housing to those residing outside of Santa Cruz. Housing that so many are competing for right now. If you leave town for vacation each year for a month or so, I hope an accommodation in the ordinance can be made. I do not believe that limiting short-term vacation rentals is the absolute solution to our housing woes, but it is a piece of a very difficult, often painful puzzle for many. I see good people of goodwill struggling to figure this out and I look forward to your continued participation,
What is the Housing Puzzle?
Everybody who is living in Santa Cruz deserves a place to live. The federal government’s guidelines say no one should be paying more than 30% of their salary into rent. We know that many, according to Steve McKay and Miriam Greenberg’s research (http://noplacelikehomeucsc.org/en/about/) that many are in fact “rent-burdened,” and paying upwards to 70% of their income towards rent. So, what can be done?
First, we can make developers produce 25% of their rental units affordable, according to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines. Secondly, the city council can pass a rent freeze and just cause eviction leading up to a communitywide rent control signature gathering effort, which is set to begin in January. Third, the city council can fully fund a 24/7 emergency shelter with “wrap-around” services. We can also urge the city council to ONLY work with non-profit housing providers, open a tenant’s rights office at city hall, demand the university house its students on campus, pass a speculation tax on home-flipping, and put a 3% hotel tax increase in order to raise around $3 million a year for an affordable housing fund.