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Redevelopment Affordable Housing Program

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Affordable Housing

Introduction to Redevelopment Funded Affordable Housing

Sycamore Street CommonsBy law, every redevelopment agency within the state of California must allocate 20% of it's tax increment to the procurement of affordable housing within its designated project area(s).

Redevelopment agencies are the largest provider of low- and moderate-income housing in the state of California. Since 1993 alone, redevelopment agencies in the state have assisted in the construction of 80,150 units of very low-, low-, and moderate-income housing. 42,862 of these are new or substantially rehabilitated units (Redevelopment Journal, January 2001, p. 6).

Redevelopment agencies must, by law, provide relocation assistance to every household displaced and replace every unit removed from the housing stock as a result of its actions (reference §33410 et. seq. of the CA Redevelopment Law). Often relocated people are able to purchase their first home with redevelopment assistance, or acquire improved rental housing, rather than continue to live in substandard housing which is often being removed by the Agency to make way for new and better housing. In many instances, people who are relocated due to a Redevelopment project are able to return to the new housing once it is completed.

Much of the Agency's assistance comes in the form of Affordability Agreements, which are covenants a private developer of a housing project enters into to preserve a certain number of housing units in the project as "affordable", in exchange for financial assistance from the Agency. The Agency annually makes considerable financial commitments to public, nonprofit, and private developers to leverage funds to ensure the construction of affordable housing to the maximum extent possible. Other forms of funding include direct grants and low-interest loans for pre-development costs associated with project development, assistance to various programs throughout the city which seek to ensure the provision of affordable housing for those in need, and the abatement of City fees for developers who commit to affordable housing in their projects.

The Redevelopment Agency of the City of Santa Cruz works closely with Mercy Housing California, a local member of a national nonprofit committed to providing quality, affordable, service enriched housing for the economically poor, to develop projects which will increase the supply of affordable housing in the City.

Redevelopment Agency Housing Goals

Neary LagoonAffordable Housing Goals: Program Goals and Objectives

  • To improve economic, recreational and residential conditions in the Beach Area through the provision of parking, improved access, streetscape improvements, public safety projects and new and rehabilitated housing.
  • To assemble land into parcels suitable for modern, integrated development with improved pedestrian and vehicular circulation in the Merged Project Area.
  • To provide opportunities for participation by owners and tenants in the revitalization of their properties.
  • To provide new and rehabilitated housing units for persons of all incomes, particularly persons of low-and moderate- income.

Agency Projects

Major projects funded in whole or in part by the Redevelopment Agency in the Agency's two project areas include the following:

Beach Flats Affordable Housing, Child Care and Community Center Project 48 Units Family Affordable; Child Care Center; Community Center
1010 Pacific Avenue 43 Units Affordable; 70 Units Market Rate; 650 sq. ft. Retail
1280 Shaffer Road 83 Units Affordable; 123 Market Rate; Education Center; Recreation Center
Neary Lagoon Affordable Housing Coop 95 Units Family Affordable
Arbor Cove Senior Project 35 Units Senior Affordable
Sycamore Street Commons Project

60 Units Affordable

Mariners Cove 12 Units First Time Home Buyer; 72 Units Market Rate
155 Chestnut Street

14 Units Affordable; 82 Units Market Rate

Swift Street Artists Housing

9 Units Live/Work

211 Gault Street 37 Units of HUD Section 202 Senior Housing
515 Leibrandt Avenue Rehabilitation of 7 Low and Moderate Income Units
1040 River Street (in financing phase) 100 Artists Live/Work Low and Very Low Income
111 Barson Street (in financing phase) 11 HUD Section 8 Mod Rehabilitation


899 Units; 552 Affordable; 345 Market Rate


These projects seek to simultaneously revitalize neighborhoods as well as provide much needed affordable housing to families and individuals of moderate, low, and very low incomes, while at the same time developing a mix of market-rate housing along side affordable units.

Wherever possible, Agency projects include social services for residents including partially or wholly subsidized child care and community centers and recreational facilities. Projects are integrated into existing neighborhoods through the use of design standards which reflect the existing physical characteristics of the area in which they are located.

The Legislature passed AB 987 in its 2007 Session which among other items requires that each Redevelopment Agency in the State post on the Internet by January 1, 2008 a data base of the affordable housing units it has financially assisted. AB 987 required that the Internet data base include the following items of information for each Agency-assisted project:

Project address and assessor’s parcel number

  • Number of units and bedroom types
  • Year constructed
  • Expiration date of affordability requirement
  • Recording page and date of recording of affordable housing covenants

While much of this information has been previously posted on the Agency’s web page a new data base has been prepared to comply with the AB 987 requirement.

Additional Related Programs

Downtown VillasRedevelopment Agency funding allows for two financial assistance programs to be implemented City-wide. The Emergency Rental/Mortgage Assistance Program is administered by the Santa Cruz County Community Action Board and provides emergency rental or mortgage payments to families to prevent eviction or mortgage foreclosures.

The Agency also funds the Tenant Based Assistance/Security Deposit Program, which provides funds to households who do not have sufficient funds to pay the initial security deposit for a housing unit. The program is administered by the Santa Cruz County Housing Authority and assisted 30 families and individuals during the last year. Both programs require City Residency.

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