newspaper housing


The State of California is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis. Communities like Santa Cruz, which attract people both for its natural beauty as well as its proximity to high-wage employment areas, are being particularly hard hit.

The City of Santa Cruz is looking at new ways we can address the diverse housing needs of our community. As we move into the future smart growth is needed to address the diverse housing needs of our community. By working together, we can develop housing solutions that support the quality of life and environmental integrity of our unique town. While we will never be able to house every person who desires to live in Santa Cruz, we can and will find ways to ease the burden of finding affordable and reliable housing.  

The Santa Cruz City Council wants to hear your thoughts on the housing crisis. There are several ways to share your ideas and suggestions; please check back frequently for an update on opportunities  to join the conversation. 

Where We Are Now


Where We Are Going and How You Can Get Involved


 Schedule of Events

Join us! Part of engagement is the communities involvement in the following schedule of events. More detailed event information will be provided as it is ready including specific topic information.

 Date:                                               Topic  Time/Location  
June 27, 2017 Introduction to Housing Engagement Plan 7pm/Civic Auditorium 
August 16, 2017  Citizen Jane Screening and Panel Discussion  5:30pm/Food Lounge 1001 Center Street #1
September 9, 2017 Coffee & Conversation with the Mayor 10-Noon/MAH Secret Garden, 705 Front St
September 12, 2017 Housing Evening Study Session #1: Where We Are & How we Did We Get Here  7pm/City Council Chambers/809 Center Street 
October 2, 2017 Drinks and Dialogue with the Mayor at Lupulo Craft Bar  5-7pm/Lupulo Craft Bar

October 3, 2017

Housing Evening Study Session #2: Housing Development, Inclusionary Economics 6:30 pm/City Council Chambers, 809 Center Street
October 4, 2017  Brown Bag Housing Discussion: Transportation & Housing Noon/Downtown Library Community Room 
October 10, 2017 Housing Evening Study Session #3: Housing and Community Connections, Part I  7pm/City Council Chambers, 809 Center Street 
October 19, 2017 No Place Like Home Presentation to Launch Affordable Housing Week  7-9pm/Civic Auditorium
October 23, 2017

Tour of Tannery Arts Center

*SIGN UP REQUIRED* Given limited space, sign-up is required for this event.

2-4pm/1010 River St
October 24, 2017  Housing Evening Study Session #4: Affordable Housing Development  7pm/City Council Chambers, 809 Center Street
October 25, 2017 Brown Bag Housing Discussion: Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program Noon/Downtown Library Community Room
October 25, 2017 Affordable Housing Mixer and Panel Discussion Moderated by Mayor Cynthia Chase  5:30pm/Museum of Art and History
October 26, 2017

Trolley Tour of Affordable Housing

*SIGN UP REQUIRED* Given limited space, sign-up is required for this event.

October 26, 2017 Drinks and Dialogue with Mayor at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery 5:30-7pm/Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery, 402 Ingalls Street
November 7, 2017 Housing Evening Study Session #4: Housing and Community Connections, Part II  7pm/City Council Chambers/809 Center Street 
December 5, 2017  Housing Evening Study Session #5  7pm/City Council Chambers/809 Center Street 



 Housing Related Resources

General Plan

The General Plan can be thought of as the Constitution for a city. It is a comprehensive, long range document that defines the City’s philosophy and policies on growth and preservation, highlights what is important to the community, and prescribes where different types of future development can and should go. Having an adopted General Plan is a state requirement, and the City of Santa Cruz adopted our General Plan 2030 in 2012.

Housing Element

The Housing Element is one of the required elements of a General Plan. It sets the City’s housing policies and programs and makes sure that the City has enough land zoned to accommodate our “fair share” of the  regional housing. A key piece to understand here is that it is not a direct role of the City to construct housing, rather the City’s role is to make sure that our programs and policies allow for our fair share of housing to be constructed. The Housing Element is required to be updated every 8 years, and the City of Santa Cruz adopted our current 2015-2023 Housing Element in 2016.

Various Housing Programs

There are various housing programs, resources, and types of assistance available for city residents. Are you a homeowner, renter, or in need of housing? See what assistance might be available to you by visiting  the Economic Development Department’s Housing Division page. For stories relating to housing in Santa Cruz, and to learn about our projects and programs visit Choose Santa Cruz – Housing

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  • How can I learn more and get involved?
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