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  • Writer's pictureD Lane

Santa Cruz Obsession Month?

Anyone who knows me or reads this blog is aware of my obsession with the twin issues of homelessness and affordable housing.

My obsession is especially enabled during the month of May… which is Affordable Housing Month in Santa Cruz County and in many counties throughout California. I hope to draw you into my obsession for at least the next couple of weeks…by enticing you to participate in one or more Affordable Housing Month events.

You can find all the events here on the website of my favorite new organization, Housing Santa Cruz County.

Right here, right now, I will highlight just a few:

At the heart of Housing SC County’s work is our effort to engage local government and local officials in our strong push for the creation of more affordable housing for the people who live and work here. And especially for the people who are least able to afford our outrageously high housing costs. So… Housing SC County has invited Board of Supes Chair Bruce McPherson; Santa Cruz Mayor Donna Meyers; Watsonville Mayor Jimmy Dutra; Scotts Valley Mayor Derek Timm, and Capitola Vice Mayor Sam Storey (Mayor Brooks is unable to attend) to share their jurisdictions’ plans and commitments on delivering affordable housing to people who need it. You can participate in the event by registering for the Zoom right now or by watching on Facebook Live on Thursday, May 20 at 6:30 pm.

On Saturday, May 22 at 2 pm, you can two kill two birds with one stone… Take a pleasant bike ride around Santa Cruz (it is also Bike Month!) and visit several great examples of affordable housing and affordable housing development opportunity sites. As we look to create additional affordable housing, it’s crucial that we remind ourselves and others that we have hundreds of terrific affordable rental units all around us that are HOMES for our neighbors-- and great pieces of the puzzle that make up our community. You can sign up for this “Riding Home” event by emailing Andrea Inouye. Participation is limited… and there is a chance to sign up to win a prize!

On Tuesday, May 25 at 5:30 pm you have a chance to learn more about Permanent Supportive Housing. PSH represents the best example of why homelessness issues and affordable housing issues are two sides of the same coin. (I think I’ve reached my cliché limit for this post!!) Permanent Supportive Housing is one the key solutions to ending homelessness among folks who have been on the streets for a long time. Check out this presentation from Housing Matters (and the amazing Phil Kramer!) and become a knowledgeable advocate for PSH in Santa Cruz County. Here’s the Zoom link.

Last but definitely not least (cliché limit now exceeded and I will be penalized)… A 100 percent affordable housing project that I helped shepherd through to approval by the City Council many years ago is finally done… finished… fully built… ready to occupy. There will be a ribbon cutting / grand opening for it on Thursday, May 27 at 11 am on Lower Ocean Street. You can sign up to attend through Eventbrite.

By the way…Did I mention that Governor Newsom is proposing an additional $12 billion in state funds to address housing and homelessness? This is beyond big. Even beyond HUGE! We are nearing the tipping point on homelessness and affordable housing issues in California (in a good way!) -- and we can truly transform the situation if we build and sustain the political will and community will to move forward. Join the movement in some way… and, perhaps, join Housing Santa Cruz County.

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