Santa Cruz IMC
Santa Cruz IMC
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Housing Within Reach: Of Our Pocketbooks; Of Our Workplaces, Schools, & Stores

Thursday, January 14, 2010
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Panel Discussion
Transition Santa Cruz
Location Details:
United Methodist Church
250 California St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060

January 14 begins a workshop on housing affordability that brings together speakers who have opposed each other over the years on issues ranging from rent control to constraints on development and highway widening. Explains workshop organizer, Rick Longinotti, “We’ve lost a lot of ground on housing affordability over the last few decades, and none of these speakers is pleased with that outcome. It’s time for a new consensus on how to preserve and increase the affordability of housing for all in our community.”

Transition Santa Cruz is a citizens group formed to respond locally to the threats of climate change, peak oil, and resultant economic instability. Part of that mission is a commitment to equity and environmental stewardship in land use decisions.

The series includes both a focus on making housing affordable, and how to achieve a jobs-housing balance so that the trend of people traveling farther and farther to their jobs can be reversed. Panelists will discuss how to achieve complete neighborhoods, where the need for car trips for commuting and shopping is reduced. The goal of the series is to develop some strategies for affordability and land use that can be enacted by the local community.

A 2007 survey by the Community Assessment Project found that half of county residents report spending more than 30% of their take-home pay on housing. One third of jobs in Santa Cruz are in retail, lodging and entertainment, with a median income of $20,240 (2004). According to the Santa Cruz Draft General Plan, “A household with two employed workers in the retail sector would not have earned enough to purchase any market-rate housing in Santa Cruz and could not have afforded to rent the vast majority of apartments in the city.”

Longinotti points out that, “Housing affordability is an issue that unites a concern for justice with the goal of environmental sustainability. When a city has become unaffordable, its greenhouse gas impact grows on account of its workforce having to commute.”

An overview of the 5-Part Series by date

Jan 14: Overview of Housing Economics: Why we’re losing ground on affordability, and what we can do about it
Featuring Bruce Van Allen and Paul Wagner. Bruce is a former mayor of Santa Cruz. In the late 70’s and early 80’s he led efforts to pass rent control in Santa Cruz. Later he worked as a project manager in non-profit affordable housing development. Paul Wagner is a journalist and former chair of the City of Santa Cruz Housing Advisory Committee.

Jan 28: Programs for Affordability
Featuring Carol Berg, Housing and Community Development Manager for the City of Santa Cruz, and Jan Lindenthal, Vice-president of the non-profit, Mid-Peninsula Housing. Carol will outline City housing programs, discussing what is working well and what needs to be improved. Programs include allowing Accessory Dwelling Units, Single-Room-Occupancy apartments, Small Ownership Units (small condos), Density Bonus, and Housing Rehabilitation Program. Carol and Jan will discuss how to generate more funding for affordability.

Feb 11: Affordability: A Developer Perspective
John Swift, developer and land use consultant, will discuss regulations that affect affordability, including zoning, parking requirements, inclusionary requirements, density, and design requirements. Jeff Oberdorfer, executive director of First Community Housing, will discuss how to get housing built through public-private partnerships and innovation in planning.

Feb 25: Housing, Transportation & Greenhouse Gases
John Doughty, executive director of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG), is involved in the implementation of SB 375, California’s attempt to reduce greenhouse gases through land use planning.
The Regional Targets Advisory Committee for SB 375, reports:

“Social equity policies and practices that have the potential to reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (such as provision of appropriately located affordable housing that matches well with local wage levels) must be elevated on the list of Best Management Practices...”

Celia Scott, former Santa Cruz mayor and environmental attorney, is involved with the Campaign for Sensible Transportation’s lawsuit against Caltrans over widening Highway One. She will discuss how transportation projects impact growth patterns, and how integrating housing, transportation, and neighborhood commercial hubs can increase affordability and reduce greenhouse gases.

Mar 11: Next Steps for Affordability
Series moderator, David Foster, Capitola Housing and Redevelopment Project Manager, will lead a discussion that pulls together the threads from the series and focuses on some strategies to implement. Some possible next steps might include:

* figuring out ways to increase housing trust funds

* support the City of Santa Cruz's efforts to increase density in urban centers and along transit corridors; development of mixed use buildings in neighborhood hubs; and support for similar zoning changes in the County

* support changes in County regulations to allow small ownership units

* lower parking requirements for housing developments and/or allow the market to determine the needed parking levels

* require the unbundling of parking costs from the rent/purchase of housing

* revise the auxiliary dwelling unit ordinance to encourage more of them to be built

For more info, please visit
Added to the calendar on Mon, Jan 11, 2010 3:03PM
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


$55.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network