Fixing the Housing Crisis


All experts agree that a housing crisis of the proportion we face requires multiple simultaneous strategies.

Fixing The Housing Crisis: Tenants

  • Form a Tenants Rights Commission to ensure that the voices of tenants are heard in the city council and that tenants have access to legal assistance.
  • Rent Stabilization. Enact regulations to stabilize the cost of rent in Santa Cruz, this will stop the skyrocketing cost of renting. While detractors argue that rent regulations adversely affect the housing market, recent studies have debunked this, showing a positive effect on the housing market as well as on incomes for middle and low income households
  • Limit Short Term Rentals to 90 days/year as other tourist cities have done to allow rentals during vacation but also encourage stable communities and reasonable rents.

Fixing The Housing Crisis: Homeowners

Ease costs and delays in ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) process to encourage more backyard affordable units.

Fixing The Housing Crisis: Developers

Increase inclusionary zoning from 15-25%. This requires developers to include affordable units in their projects.

No exceptions. The current city council often allows in lieu payments that leads to developments with no affordable units. This concentrates affordability in city built units that are often segregated within low income neighborhoods thus further reducing the tax base and weakening schools and services.

Fund Affordable Development (Affordable defined as 30% of 80% of the median income in perpetuity):

  • Speculation Tax: A graduated transfer tax would tax home sales aiming especially at those held for a brief period of time to both encourage long term use, discourage flipping, and fund affordable housing.
  • Impact Fees: Assess developers for impacts on traffic and environment.
  • Increase the TOT: Our Transient Occupancy Tax, which raises funds from the tourist industry, is relatively low compared to many comparable cities in California and could be raised but still be quite reasonable.

Fixing The Housing Crisis: Students

The university has accepted hundreds of new students in the past years, is bringing over 600 this year and plans are in place for a few thousand more in the next few years. This is without increasing the workforce hired to support them. As such, this adds to traffic congestion, unemployment as well as the workload of their current teachers and staff thereby impacting the quality of education at UCSC and finally, it increases pressures on the housing market.

We will:

  • Work with the university to insist that they fund and support affordable student housing on campus and in town.
  • Downtown: new zoning for shared housing for students.
  • Student Village (eg., on Delaware for 3-5 years or more if necessary). A student village with easy access to bikes, limited parking, priority to car-less students and increased bus service to UCSC.
  • Use city’s leverage over UC expansion to encourage the UC to support affordable housing.

Rework the Corridor Plan

Debunk the Myth: The current corridor plan claims to balance affordability and the environment, yet is focused on building market rate housing that will increase traffic and carbon emissions with little effect on housing costs.

Market rate units are far less effective at reducing displacement than affordable units. Further, the corridor plan is allowing developers to use a model of affordability out of synch with reality. For instance, units claimed as affordable include: the Breakers rental, which costs $1,750 for a 345 sq ft unit, and the 244 San Lorenzo Blvd condo which is $669,000 for a 986 sq ft. 1 bedroom.


The current plan unfairly impacts established and historical neighborhoods, like Seabright, Branciforte and Lower Ocean.

As of now, a vast majority of the active development projects are slated for the East Side. We need to share the responsibility for affordable housing across our city.

We need genuine community participation in development.

A Green City


Santa Cruz has been a leader among small cities in its dedication to maintaining green spaces. As a community that values the joy, peace and restorative qualities of nature in Santa Cruz, we need to continue and even expand our dedication.

  • Protection of all urban green spaces (greenbelts, rivers, marshes, urban forest, community and neighborhood parks).
  • Protection of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, its ocean and beaches.
  • Creation of a system of community gardens within existing neighborhood parks.
  • Acquisition of the Beach Flats Community Garden beach-flats-garden_13_4-27-16The Beach Flats Community Garden is the largest green space in the densest low income neighborhood most impacted by the tourist industry. Its unique eco-system is tended by latin american immigrants providing food security and common space for the community. To buy it would be one step towards a more equitable distribution of green space in Santa Cruz and increasing community voice in land use decisions.
  • Water neutral development.
  • Incorporation of ecological sustainability in the design of buildings, neighborhoods and cities.

Responsible Growth and Traffic Solutions


Neighborhoods must be able to participate in development decisions. When developers and speculators from Silicon Valley design our streets and homes, their focus is on making more money through greater density; they don't pay attention to increased traffic, affordability and neighborhood character. Santa Cruz neighborhood residents need to be at the table to ensure a smart and caring process.

Santa Cruz needs to work with developers who are willing to listen to neighbors, plan and build significant affordable housing, and develop innovative traffic and parking plans.

Santa Cruz needs more rail and bicycle transportation throughout the County. We need mixed income housing at rail stations.

We need to fully fund the Metro, liftline, and expand bus routes. Funding for highway widening is a waste of tax dollars.

Public Health and Public Safety

Community Policing

  • Implement a plan that has more Community Service Officers on foot and bicycle. Community Service Officers cost half the price of regular police, they don’t carry guns, and are focused on de-escalation. Santa Cruz can refocus our police force from conflict to de-escalation.
  • Support a Community Police Review Board: Santa Cruz is far behind other communities in responding to increased community awareness that a lack of police accountability encourages violence against poor people and people of color.


  • 24 hour access to public restrooms
  • Santa Cruz needs permanent shelters, (i.e. tiny home villages, shelters etc.) to house the unhomed while saving money for the city.
  • More immediately, we can create temporary shelter, RV Park/ campground
  • Increase Mental Health services and Drug Addiction counseling


  • Review Park Allocation by area to ensure that all residents have access to green space.
  • Review DeLaveaga uses to avoid waste and meet community needs.
  • Our goal is to have the cleanest beaches in the State (eg., Cowell Beach)

Transparency and Openness

Access to the council. Once elected, our candidates will offer regular office hours, quarterly community assemblies and a deep commitment to community participation in decision making, particularly in the area of neighborhood developments.

A Green City, Affordable Housing, and Neighborhood Preservation

We can build truly affordable and sustainable housing, while preserving neighborhood character.

We can protect our beautiful Santa Cruz, and that means people too.

We can bring openness and sunshine into the council chambers.


A Green City, Affordable Housing, and Neighborhood Preservation

We can build truly affordable and sustainable housing, while preserving neighborhood character.

We can protect our beautiful Santa Cruz, and that means people too.

We can bring openness and sunshine into the council chambers.

Here's how: