U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


Santa Cruz is a coastal town of approximately 51,000 people. The County seat, it has a vibrant tourist economy as well as government and related businesses as the economic base. Housing is in limited supply, which add to the problem of affordability.

Action Plan

The basis for the annual action plan is the City's Consolidated Plan for Fiscal Year 1995 through 1999. The One Year Action Plan governs the use of Federal, local, and other monies to achieve objectives identified in the 5-Year Plan for the 1995 Fiscal Year.

Central to the action plan is the Federal Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Program which is allocated $803,000 for the 1995 Fiscal Year. An additional $215,000 in program income and carryover funds will provide a total of $1,018,000 for CDBG projects.

Citizen Participation

During the planning for this transition, the 1994-95 CHAS and the CDBG CD Plan were merged and provide the basis for the Consolidated Plan for 1995-99.

The City Council, in the fall of 1994, amended its Citizen Participation Plan to reflect the new Consolidated Plan regulations. The Plan called for a development process similar to the former CHAS process. Two Public Hearings were held concerning the development of the CP five year Plan and the One -Year Action Plan. The first hearing was held on December 13, 1994 to gain citizen input on Plan development. A second outreach effort was conducted via a town meeting in the Beach Target Area on February 7, 1995, in order to get views of people in the neighborhoods affected by CDBG Programs. A third Public Hearing was held during the 30 day comment period on the CP on March 28, 1995. All of these hearings were advertised by legal notice in the S. C. Sentinel newspaper, the Good Times newspaper and El Andar, a local bilingual Spanish/English newspaper. Input was also solicited to groups and government agencies by direct mail. Early in 1993, the City began to interact with the County of Santa Cruz as well as the Santa Cruz Community Housing Corporation, the Santa Cruz Community Counseling Center, Housing for Independent People, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz, Familia Center, Senior Network, Legal Aid Society, and the Santa Cruz Housing Authority in development of the Plan. All citizen comments were reviewed and responses are contained in the final version of the Plan, adopted by the City Council on April 11, 1995.


The City of Santa Cruz has a population of 43,794. Forty-eight percent of the population have incomes of less than 80 percent of the median. Of its 18,198 households, 85% are white, 1% are Black, 9% are Hispanic, 1% are Native American and 3% are Asian Pacific Islanders. Santa Cruz is a city comprised of older housing stock (19,000 units with 15,000 built before 1950) with limited supply of new land. Both contribute to a housing market that is not affordable for renters, homebuyers and homeowners.

Seventy percent of households have incomes below $35,000 per year. The local economy also contributes to the problem of housing affordability. Many sectors of the population are paying a higher than normal cost for housing within the City and are generally of a lower median income range than the County of Santa Cruz as a whole.



The City's major needs include affordable housing, homeless services and rehabilitation of older housing stock. Housing affordability is primary and affects many sections of the local population. The problems of homelessness are rising within the City limits, as the City inherits the primary role in services due to the central location of these services within the City limits. With nearly 70% of the housing stock over 50 years old, housing rehabilitation is a primary need..

Ethnic minorities do not comprise significant portions of the City population, with the exception of Hispanic households. These households are concentrated in the Beach/Lower Ocean Street Target Area where disproportionate housing needs include overcrowding, cost burden and substandard housing conditions.

Housing Needs

Due to the age of housing stock the need for rehabilitation of general housing stock as well as those identified in the Beach/Lower Ocean Street target area, the City has identified the need for housing rehabilitation. Within the City there have been identified housing problems which are disproportionate to the overall City problems. Within the Beach/Lower Ocean Street Target Area, housing problems such as overcrowding, cost burden and deteriorated housing conditions are higher than in other areas of the City and, therefore, have been targeted for special attention.

Market Conditions

Santa Cruz is a city comprised of older housing stock. Of its 19,000 housing units, 15,000 were build before 1950. There is also a limited supply of land for new development. These conditions and the high cost of housing contribute to a housing market that is not affordable to renters, homeowners and homebuyers.

Affordable Housing Needs

The greatest need of all groups of the population within the City of Santa Cruz is the need for housing affordability. Fifty-two percent of the City's households are below 80% of the region-wide household median income of $16,877. Well over 60% of households pay more than 30% of income for housing.

There is also a need for specialized housing which meets the needs of individual population and groups within the City. These include frail elderly, persons with physical disabilities, persons infected with HIV virus, persons with mental disabilities, Hispanic populations and the homeless.

Homeless Needs

The City has identified a population of 1,187 homeless persons, including 504 single persons, 109 families with children and 77 couples without children. There is a need for assistance programs and transitional housing facilities which will help integrate this population into the housing market. There is also a need for day facilities to help in this process as well as emergency shelter provisions.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

There is an extreme need for housing assistance payments and subsidies within the City. The Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County does not have a public assistance housing plan which would create new public-assisted housing through conventional HUD tools but does use the voucher and certificate programs available for housing assistance. The Housing Authority administers approximately $8,000,000 in rental vouchers and certificates annually within the City.

The City has also identified the need for first-time homebuyers and to explore future programs for such assistance in conjunction with the County of Santa Cruz Housing Authority.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

This section provides an analysis of potential and actual constraints upon the maintenance, improvement, or development of affordable housing. Governmental constraints such as land use, zoning and infrastructure availability, and non-governmental constraints such as construction costs and financing availability, often have an effect upon the development and maintenance of affordable housing within the community. The city has planned toremove barriers, to the degree possible, within the time period of the Plan.

Fair Housing

The City conducted an analysis of impediments to Fair Housing in 1992. The study did not indicated major areas of housing discrimination, but did make recommendations for improving fair housing choice. An update will be conducted by February 1996.

Lead-based Paint

In order to comply with the federal Lead-Based Paint Poisoning and Prevention Act and to protect the health and safety of occupants residing in units to be repaired, rehabilitated, or similarly assisted with federal funding, the City of Santa Cruz has developed a policy concerning the identification and abatement of lead-based paint. It is estimated that approximately 17,000 housing units in the City contain lead-based paint.

Community Development Needs

The City has identified major public facility, architectural barrier removal and economic development needs through it's General Plan goals for these areas and applied these to applicable CDBG priorities and target areas. The needs are generally located in the Beach Target Area and the Redevelopment Areas. The City, prior to the last twenty years, was a regional employment center and has gone through much transition due to relocation of businesses from the City's downtown to regional shopping centers and the decline in commercial activity in the downtown as a result of the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. The City is experiencing new employment and business activity as the recovery process proceeds.


Vision for change

The city has an overall vision for change that provides for affordable housing for the population groups most in need, deals with the problems of homelessness and continues public facility and economic development investments in the targeted areas of the City.

Housing Priorities

Total dollars to address housing needs: $14,500,000

Provision for affordable housing to all affected populations in Santa Cruz including:

Provide affordable housing projects, rehabilitation rental assistance and other targeted housing activities in the Beach, lower Ocean Street targeted area including:

Provide for housing and related supportive services for the needs of special needs populations including:

To provide a range of support services and affordable housing needs of the homeless population including:

Non-housing Community Development Priorities

Total dollars to address community development needs: $9,850,000

Provide for public facilities and other improvement priorities to enhance the living environment of low- and moderate-income households including:

Provide for economic development activities to include increased job opportunities and improvements to targeted areas of the City including:

Anti-Poverty Strategy

The City, through implementation of this CP and the Housing Element of its General Plan, has taken steps to reduce the level of households and individuals with incomes below the poverty level.

Specifically, this is addressed through the implementation of the following Strategic Plan policies, programs and objectives to fund priorities for affordable housing, homelessness, and special needs populations. These are accomplished through the provision of Public Services, housing assistance programs and through job creation components of economic development activities.

These collectively increase affordable housing which, in turn, helps to increase the portion of income devoted to housing costs and bring those households below the poverty into a better quality of life. These strategy tools are coordinated with subsidy programs of the Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The City will utilize the Community Development Block Grant Program as its main source of Federal assistance. The City has also received $2 million in funding through the HOME Program, which will also continue to improve resources available to assist housing projects. There is also a consideration of HOPE resources, as these funds become available.

The primary utilization of State resources has been through rehabilitation monies such as California Housing Rehabilitation Program (CHRP), Rental Housing Construction Program (RHCP), Mobile Home Park Resident Ownership Program (MPROP), and similar State funding programs. Many of these resources are utilized by non-profit housing developers that work in conjunction with the City.

Local City resources for housing development include an In-Lieu Fee Fund or monies paid in-lieu of provision of low-income housing for lot-only subdivisions. Other potential resources include redevelopment tax increment housing set-aside funds.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The leadership function for implementation of the CP begins with the City's Housing and Community Development Division. The CDBG Coordinator develops and monitors the Community Development Block Grant Program. Programs such as HOME and HOPE, which will augment the Block Grant base, are coordinated through the Housing Division. Housing and CDBG staff develop an annual program in coordination with the direction of the Santa Cruz City Council. This leadership role is augmented by policy coordination of the City Planning Commission as well as the City Council.

Implementation is also coordinated between City Housing, Redevelopment and CDBG staff. The main implementation forces which carry out activities within the housing strategy are the City's Unified Housing Rehabilitation Program, the Santa Cruz Community Housing Corporation, the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Community Counseling Center, and other non-profit housing developers. There is also a relationship with the Santa Cruz County Housing Authority for monitoring, technical skills and new housing construction on a case-by-case basis.


Descriptions of Key Projects

Some of the on-going activities and projects for the City include:


Housing activities are spread throughout the city with the Beach/Lower Ocean Street Target Area receiving much of the City's efforts. The City has also invested in the Downtown and other Redevelopment Areas for public facility and economic development activities.

Lead Agencies

The City, the Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County and the Santa Cruz Community Housing Corporation serve as the lead agencies for major portions of the Plan. Public service providers include Senior Network Services, Familia Center, Homeless Resource Center, S. C. Community Counseling Center and the S. C. Citizen's Committee for the Homeless.

Housing Goals

Total numbers of housing units to be assisted include:


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and proposed HUD funded projects.

To comment on Santa Cruz's Consolidated Plan, please contact:
Tim Reynolds, CDBG Coordinator
Telephone Number: 408-429-3569

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