The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz has been dedicated to providing affordable housing to thousands of low-income individuals and families in our community. With over 50 years of experience, we have been transforming lives and fostering stronger communities through our programs.

Dive into our 2024 Community Report in English and Spanish to explore the depth of our initiatives, meet the families we serve, and understand our ongoing commitment to providing and promoting affordable housing for all.

The Housing Authority’s mission statement:

The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz is committed to advancing access to affordable housing and a thriving community free from discrimination by providing affordable housing and delivering inclusive services to our diverse community with compassion and kindness. Our mission extends beyond shelter, utilizing housing as a catalyst to promote equity, economic mobility, dignity, stability, improved quality of life, and a place to call home.

The Housing Authority’s core values:

Integrity | Community | Respect | Compassion | Equity | Service

The Housing Authority is governed by a seven member Board of Commissioners. Two of the commissioners must be tenants of the Housing Authority, one over 62 years of age. The cities of Santa Cruz and Watsonville each have a commissioner representing them, as does the Community Action Board. All are appointed by the County Board of Supervisors. Commissioner serve for 4 years, tenant commissioners for 2 year and are at-large appointments made by the Board of Supervisors; however, other than appointing the Board of Commissioners, the Board of Supervisors has no direct responsibility for the Housing Authority and the Housing Authority is not supported by County funds.

Although the Housing Authority is an independent, distinct entity, cooperation and interaction occurs between the Housing Authority and local government. The Housing Authority acts as the housing authority for each of the localities within the county and strives to be of service according to the needs of each.

The largest and best known programs operated by the Housing Authority are the federal rental assistance programs: the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program and the USDA Farmworker Housing Program. To a smaller extent, the State of California programs also provide housing assistance such as the seasonal Migrant Housing program or the Rental Housing Construction Program. Regardless of the source, the Housing Authority must apply and compete for funds. There is no automatic funding and the fees received by the Housing Authority for operating these programs are performance-based.

In the early 1980s, the Housing Authority further used its statutory powers in providing housing assistance by issuing mortgage backed revenue bonds to assist private developers in providing affordable rental units as well as issuing single family bonds for home ownership. The Housing Authority has assisted non-profit groups to provide housing for family shelters, transitional housing and housing for people with disabilities.

Since its creation in 1969, the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz has increased the number of families it assists to over 5,000, bringing to the County more than $100 million annually in housing assistance funds.

Over the last 5 decades the Housing Authority has carried out its mission in a variety of ways, some of which has been by:

  • Developing and managing affordable rental housing.
  • Developing affordable housing for sale to qualified local residents.
  • Administering the federal government’s Housing Choice Vouch (Section 8) program providing rental assistance to tenants in market-rate housing.
  • Administering security-deposit assistance programs helping tenants move into rental units.
  • Administering first-time home buyer programs, which provide mortgage relief for low and moderate-income residents buying their first home.
  • Offering programs for mobile home rehabilitation and improvements.
  • Helping mobile home park residents take over ownership of their park.
  • Distributing and administering disaster-relief housing funds.
  • Rehabilitating dilapidated housing units for sale to low-income families.
  • Developing and managing migrant and farm-labor housing.
  • Providing technical services on housing issues to government agencies and developers of affordable housing.
  • Offering informational seminars for landlords.
  • Offering informational seminars for first-time home buyers.
  • Providing property management services.
  • Obtaining state and federal grants for property improvement and maintenance.
  • Issuing tax-exempt bonds to assist developers of affordable housing with financing.
  • Administering the Mortgage Credit Certificate program.

Public records maintained by the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz are made available for inspection by members of the public during regular business hours by appointment.

Requests for inspection or copying of public records should be made in writing.

Requests for inspections or copying of public records should not interfere with the ordinary business of the Housing Authority. Operational functions will not be suspended to permit the inspection of records during periods in which such records are reasonably required by the Housing Authority staff in the performance of their duties. If the request requires review of numerous records, a mutually agreeable time shall be established for the inspection of records.

Requests for inspection or copying of public records should be specific and focused. The request should sufficiently describe records so that identification, location and retrieval of the records can be achieved by Housing Authority staff. Housing Authority staff may assist a member of the public in making a focused request, based on the purpose of the request, by describing the information technology and physical location in which the records exist and by providing suggestions for overcoming any practical basis for denying access to the records or information sought.

Records may be inspected in the Housing Authority offices. Persons inspecting records shall not destroy, mutilate, deface, alter or remove any such records from the Housing Authority. The Housing Authority reserves the right to have Housing Authority staff present.

Copies will be provided for a fee. If copies are to be mailed, a postage fee will be added to the total which must be paid in advance. Current charges for copying may be obtained from Customer Services at 831-454-9455, ext 272. Copies to be picked up in person will be held until a date certain after which a new request must be submitted.

Requests to inspect or copy records should be made to: Customer Services at the Housing Authority, 2160 41st Avenue, Capitola, CA 95010. A form by which to make a request is available at the Housing Authority office or by clicking here.

It may take up to 10 days for the Housing Authority to review the request and inform the requestor whether or not the records are available and whether or not the records may be disclosed. In some cases, the Housing Authority may need up to 14 additional days to make a determination regarding disclosure, pursuant to Government Code section 6253.

The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz provides equal opportunity to all applicants for participation in the Housing Authority’s Programs, and is an equal opportunity employer. The Housing Authority does not discriminate based on race, ancestry, color, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, age, citizenship, handicap or familial status. The Housing Authority is located at 2160 41st Avenue, Capitola, CA 95010-2040. Attn: J. Panetta, Phones: 831/454-9455; TDD: 831/475-1146.

La Autoridad de Viviendas del Condado de Santa Cruz provee las mismas oportunidades a todos los solicitantes que desean participar en sus programas y su política de empleo es también proveer igualdad de oportunidades. La Autoridad de Viviendas no discrimina en base a raza, color, religión, sexo, nacionalidad de orígen, incapacidad o estado familiar. La dirección de la Autoridad de Viviendas es: 2160 41st Avenue, Capitola, CA 95010-2040. Atención: J. Panetta Los teléfonos son: 831/454-9455; TDD (para sordos): 831/475-1146.

Si desea una traducción en español, por favor llame al (831) 454-9455.