RELEASE: New Santa Cruz County Data – Housing Needs Grow, State Funding Drops

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Via the Sentinel: Santa Cruz County in need of nearly 12,000 new affordable rentals
September 12, 2018
New Santa Cruz County Data: Housing Needs Grow, State Funding Drops
New report builds case for local action

September 11, 2018 (Santa Cruz County) – A new report released by the California Housing Partnership Corporation and the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) demonstrates that Santa Cruz County’s affordable housing needs have grown significantly.

Key findings from the Santa Cruz County Housing Needs Assessment report show:

  • Santa Cruz County has suffered a significant loss of state revenue needed to invest in its communities and affordable housing. Between 2007 and 2017, the amount of state funding declined by more than $16 million in annual revenue, and homelessness has 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 rental.

  • When factoring in high housing costs, Santa Cruz County’s poverty rate increases from 13.8 percent to 24.8 percent, one of the highest in the state.

  • Santa Cruz County has an affordable housing shortfall of 11,873 homes.

“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 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 reports’ 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 this November,” said Amie Fishman, NPH Executive Director. “It’s important that Santa Cruz County voters take action to support our most vulnerable community members, as well as local workers including teachers, healthcare workers, service workers and farmworkers.”

The California Housing Partnership publishes annual Housing Needs Assessment reports for many of California’s most burdened counties. With Santa Cruz County’s growing housing challenges – according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach report, Santa Cruz County is now the 8th most expensive metropolitan county in the nation – this is the first year that the California Housing Partnership has issued a report for Santa Cruz County.

To view the report, please visit:
Media Contacts:
Ashley Chambers, California Housing Partnership, (415-433-6804 x313)
Alina Harway, NPH, (415-989-8160 x36)

The California Housing Partnership is California’s leading expert in Affordable Housing finance and policy. The State Legislature created the California Housing Partnership in 1988 to help preserve California’s existing supply of affordable homes and to provide leadership on affordable housing policy. Since then, their efforts have leveraged more than $14 billion in private and public financing to preserve and create more than 70,000 affordable homes for low-income Californians. For more information about the California Housing Partnership and the data reports, visit

The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) is Northern California’s voice for affordable housing. NPH envisions a future where everyone has an affordable and stable home. NPH represents more than 750 affordable housing developers, advocates, community leaders and businesses, working to secure resources, promote good policy, educate the public and support affordable homes as the foundation for thriving individuals, families and neighborhoods. For more information about NPH, visit