Santa Cruz County Affordable Housing Committee

Affordable Housing Political Forum: November Election

When: Thursday, August 16, 5:45 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: SEIU Local 521 Union Hall, 517 Mission Street, Santa Cruz

What: Our monthly Affordable Housing meeting will take place in the form of a Political Forum, where we will discuss 4 housing initiatives that will appear on the November ballot:

2 State Ballot Initiatives regarding Affordable Housing
-Proposition 1: California Affordable Housing Bond
-Proposition 10: California Law to Repeal Costa-Hawkins Law (rent conotrol)

2 Local Ballot Initiatives regarding Affordable Housing
-Santa Cruz County Affordable Housing Bond
-City of Santa Cruz rent control measure

The forum will review each ballot initiavite through impartial legal analysis, review of a union-issued questionaire issued to interested parties, and a section where union members will discuss the pros and cons of each initiative. This forum is not intended to be a debate, but a conversation among union members. The forum will be open only to SEIU members and will conclude with a democratic endorsement process. We will also administer our UCSC housing survey at the meeting (participants will receive a $10 Safeway giftcard!).
Please be sure to RSVP for dinner by emailing


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


Partnership with UC Santa Cruz

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.

The purpose of the UCSC research project – No Place Like Home: Santa Cruz Displacement and Commuting – is to document the housing concerns of those who work in and serve Santa Cruz County. If we have a phone number on file for you, UCSC students will be calling you during after-work hours to conduct the survey.

So far, 75% of all members surveyed report that they are housing burdened– spending 30% or more of their monthly income on either rent or a mortgage. Many of our members are leaving their jobs and communities to find affordable housing elsewhere, or else face lengthy (and expnesive) commutes every day. If you haven’t done so yet, we urge you to take the survey. The data we are gathering from this survey partnership with UC Santa Cruz will enable us to understand how the housing crisis burdens workers in Santa Cruz County, and will help us in our fight to solve this crisis; armed with survey data, we will be able to make a difference at the bargaining table when negotiating wages and benefits in our employment contract fights, we will be able to support housing legislation on the November ballot, and much more. And if that’s not incentive enough, we are now offering $10 Safeway giftcards to anyone who takes the survey at our upcoming housing meeting on August 16!

California Housing News Round-Up 

*Updated with new articles every week. Click here to sign up to have these articles delivered to your inbox.


View the results of our preliminary housing survey.


Join Our Mailing List!

Sign up to receive information about upcoming events and affordable housing opportunities, or to subscribe to a weekly news-roundup of housing news in California.


Get involved with our community allies:



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
Did you like this? Share it:

Comments about Santa Cruz County Affordable Housing Committee are welcome. Off-topic comments and other violations of our community guidelines may be withheld or removed. Comments do not appear immediately after posting.

Leave a Reply