The Santa Cruz Small Business Council's 2016 Annual Survey cited cost of living as the most significant barrier to business activity. More specifically, business owners pointed to the high cost of housing as a significant roadblock to recruiting and retaining employees.The available housing data in Santa Cruz reflects this concern.
Between 2011 and 2016, it was estimated that Santa Cruz County had a total of 105,034 housing units to serve a population of over 269,419. Though much of the growth experienced in the Santa Cruz area has occurred over the last 25 years, only 17% of the current housing units have been built since 1990. The development of sustainable and affordable housing is vital to the continued economic vitality of our community.
Moreover, the US Census Bureau estimates that the average resident in Santa Cruz County spends 30% of her income on housing. With only 15% of residents having successfully paid off their mortgages, and 60% being renters, it is clear that housing costs are one of the top economic concerns.
Current and Completed Projects The 2015 Housing Element Plan put forth by the County of Santa Cruz outlined the following projects aimed at lessening the community costs of housing. Click here for the entire document. (Click here for building and construction municipal codes): Lotus Apartments a 12 unit acquisition/substantial rehabilitation project located in Live Oak targeting people with disabilities and former foster youth, completed in 2015 Aptos Blue Apartments completed in 2014 is a 40 unit new construction rental project located in Aptos targeting families and people with disabilities Schapiro Knolls an 88 unit new construction rental project located outside the City of Watsonville, completed in 2013 targeting families, seniors and single adults Canterbury Park Townhomes a 19 unit affordable homeownership project located in Aptos completed in 2013 serving families Los Esteros a 7 unit homeownership project targeting low income families. Subdivision improvements are complete and the first 2 units went into service in 2015 Saint Stephens Senior Apartments 40 units outside the City of Santa Cruz Pippin Apartments 26 units outside the City of Watsonville, project includes 20 units within the City limits that will serve families and people with disabilities.