September 11, 2018

A new report from the California Housing Partnership  demonstrates that Santa Cruz County's affordable housing needs have grown significantly. The report shows that when factoring in high housing costs, Santa Cruz County's  poverty rate increases from 13.8 percent to 24.8 percentone of the highest in the state.

"We expected that this report would show that Santa Cruz County has high housing costs, but we did not expect to find that Santa Cruz County now has one of the highest effective poverty rates in the state," said Matt Schwartz, CEO and President of the California Housing Partnership.  "On the other hand, I am heartened that the County has placed a local housing funding measure on the ballot and is considering other bold steps to address the affordable housing crisis created by the state's failure to provide adequate funding."

In collaboration with the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH), the report also includes state and local policy recommendations to address the report's findings.

Specifically, the Santa Cruz County report highlights the urgency in voters approving statewide affordable housing measures Proposition 1 (Veterans and Affordable Housing Act) and Proposition 2 (No Place Like Home) as well as the local Make Santa Cruz County Affordable Measure H.

"This report shows the critical needs Santa Cruz County faces. Fortunately, there are ready solutions available to voters to take action this November," said Amie Fishman, NPH Executive Director. "It's important that Santa Cruz County be able to support our most vulnerable community members, as well as local workers including teachers, healthcare workers, service workers and farmworkers."

Key findings from the Santa Cruz County Housing Needs report show:
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the amount of state funding Santa Cruz County received annually declined by more than $16 million, while homelessness increased by 15% in recent years.
  • Renters in Santa Cruz County need to earn more than four times the state's minimum wage in order to afford the median monthly asking rent.
  • Santa Cruz County has an affordable housing shortfall of 11,873 homes.
View the Santa Cruz County report  here.