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Indybay Feature
Affordable Community Housing: A Guide for Electeds and Office Seekers
by Steve Pleich (spleich [at] gmail.com)
Saturday Jul 3rd, 2021 11:53 AM
Creating a Housing Plan
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When we talk about affordable housing we must first understand that jobs creation and affordable housing are two sides of the same development coin. If we cannot live where we work, the creation of truly affordable housing is only a partial victory at best. That being said, I believe there are several key elements to a workable and sustainable low and moderate income community housing plan. A few modest suggestions for our current electeds and future office seekers

First, advocate for an increase to 25% in the city’s Inclusionary Unit policy together with the elimination of the in lieu fee option currently available to developers.

Secondly, advocate for the passage of an ordinance assessing a modest tax on all transfers of real property, both residential and commercial.

Thirdly, advocate for an incremental tax on all realtor commissions.

Fourth, continue to support programs and policies that maintain the affordability of existing housing in Santa Cruz.

Fifth, continue to support the continuing enforcement of the policy against condominium conversions.

Sixth, strongly advocate for the establishment of mutually beneficial affordable housing partnerships between the City of Santa Cruz and non-profit agencies such as Habitat for Humanity.

And finally, lobby for new legislation at the state level to provide permanent funding for local affordable housing development.

Like many communities, Santa Cruz faces the challenge of forging new public and private partnerships which will drive the creation of affordable community housing. Elected officials as well as those who contemplate standing for public office in the upcoming election cycle must consider the additional issues of environmental sustainability, higher density development and the modest growth envisioned by our new General Plan. Regardless of who our local policy makers are, or may be in the near future, all must affirm their commitment to developing truly affordable housing in and for our community.
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