Santa Cruz County Affordable Housing Committee


SEIU members met with UCSC Labor Studies students to conduct housing surveys at our April Affordable Housing Committee Meeting.

Save the Date!

Affordable Housing Committee Meeting
Thursday, June 7th
Dinner* at 5:15 pm, Meeting 5:45 – 7:00 pm
517 Mission Street, Santa Cruz
*Please RSVP for dinner:

On the agenda: Join our committee meeting to get an update on the rent control campaign, more information on statewide housing measures, a preliminary report back on how many surveys got done as part of the UCSC project, and to start planning more ways to address this issue.

Partnership with UC Santa Cruz

One of the commonly cited causes of the affordable housing shortage in Santa Cruz County is the growing number of UCSC students joining the off-campus community. In an attempt to further understand the housing needs of our union members, we have partnered with 52 students from UCSC’s Labor Studies Department to conduct a second, more in-depth survey of SEIU Local 521 members. If you are interested in taking the survey, please click here.


View the results of our preliminary housing survey.


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Affordable Housing Action at the State Level

Our union is taking the affordable housing crisis in California seriously; we are working with California lawmakers to sponsor legislation at the state capitol.

Affordable Housing Programs that You May Qualify For:

  • Measure J: Measure J is the name of the 1978 voter initiative that created Santa Cruz County’s Below Market Rate housing program. Through the approval of Measure J, voters set the requirement that all housing construction projects that meet the guidelines designate a certain percentage of the units as affordable to moderate-income households. In addition, units must remain affordable for future homebuyers through permanent resale price controls. On average, 10-12 units are sold annually. Today, as a result of this program, there are approximately 500 affordable homes located throughout the unincorporated areas of the County.
  • Measure O: Measure O is a voter-approved initiative that requires developers of residential projects to provide a certain percentage of the total number of units as affordable to moderate, low or very-low income households. This requirement may be met by various options, one of which is for the developer to build the units and designate them as either for-sale units or as rental units. All Measure O units remain affordable through a long-term or permanent deed restriction recorded against the property.
  • Deposit Assistance Programs for Renters: The Housing Authority administers several Security Deposit Programs for jurisdiction in Santa Cruz County. These Security Deposit Programs offer eligible individuals and families assistance with a portion of their security deposit.
  • Downpayment Assistance Programs for Homeowners: The purpose of the CalHome Program is to enable low-income households to become homeowners or improve the safety of their homes. These Grants are provided to local public agencies and nonprofit developers to assist individual households through deferred-payment loans. Grants are awarded through a competitive process after the issuance of a Notice Of Funding Availability (NOFAs).
  • Amalgamated Bank First Time Homebuyer program
  • Bay Federal First Time Homebuyer program
  • Santa Cruz Community Credit Union discount for first-time homebuyers
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