Santa Cruz: Addressing the Housing Crisis

What You'll Learn

  • Learn about a variety of creative methods to obtain meaningful community input from a broad cross-section of the community on difficult, often contentious topics.
  • Understand how planners can identify, prioritize, and implement a range of organic policy solutions while recognizing the unique nature of each community.
  • Hear details of specific actions and policy changes that jurisdictions can implement to address housing and homelessness challenges.

More Course Details

A recent international study found Santa Cruz, California, to be the fourth-least affordable place in the world behind Hong Kong, Sydney, and Vancouver. Santa Cruz is acutely impacted by a burgeoning homelessness crisis, leading the nation in numbers of unsheltered homeless veterans and youth per capita.

Learn how Santa Cruz closely partnered with its community to address these crises through the development and prioritization of 99 targeted, community-based housing recommendations and 20 homeless recommendations.

Explore the city's approach to policy development, with a focus on preserving housing, promoting future housing development, and enhancing community vitality. While there is no silver bullet, speakers discuss policies that work.

These policies include further improving the city's nationally recognized Accessory Dwelling Unit program; adopting short-term rental regulations that preserve housing stock; legalizing existing, unpermitted dwelling units; stimulating downtown redevelopment; revising parking standards to incentivize housing; providing density bonuses; and implementing short- and long-term homelessness solutions.