Something a bit different... something actually smart!
As you know, affordable housing is something of an obsession with me. Usually, it’s difficult to make progress on this issue. However, there is something really easy for you to do to promote affordable housing in Santa Cruz right away. Write a message to Governor Newsom asking him to sign Assembly Bill 411. This bill will instantly make available $16 million for the city of Santa Cruz to use only on affordable housing and homelessness projects. There are several truly affordable projects in the local pipeline that will only move ahead if we have these funds.
For a bit of background on these funds, you can read more here. The short version is that these are Redevelopment bond funds that are currently doing nothing—but could be used by the city if the governor signs this bill.
Please send a message to the Governor Newsom’s office to support this legislation. You can email the governor through his legislative office staff person Ronda Paschal
Let’s get some truly affordable housing built for families working in our community and for the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness.
Here’s the letter I wrote to Governor Newsom:
The Honorable Gavin Newsom Governor State of California State Capitol, Suite 1173 Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Governor Newsom:
I am writing to urge you to sign AB 411 (Stone) into law as part of your effort to address the affordable housing crisis.
Like you, Santa Cruz is serious about building more affordable housing to meet the needs of our residents. However, we struggle to move forward with projects due to a shortage of local affordable housing funds. AB 411 will provide the City funding to increase the supply of affordable housing and help to partially offset the demand created by UC Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley growth.
As a past Santa Cruz Mayor and City Council member, I can attest from personal experience that Santa Cruz has had a continuing commitment to the development of affordable housing. During my terms on the City Council following the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, our Council made a strong commitment to affordable housing. Our former Redevelopment Agency constructed 1,200 affordable housing units, which is remarkable for a city of our size.
We realize this is an extraordinary request. However, Santa Cruz is in an extraordinary situation. Our per capita level of homelessness is higher than Los Angeles and San Francisco. Our housing market is regularly and consistently rated as one of the least affordable in the country.
Finally, this bill has strong support in our community not only from affordable housing advocates but from local business organizations acutely aware of the impacts of the housing crisis on our local service industry workforce.
Please extend your commitment to addressing the affordable housing crisis by signing AB 411.