Affordable & Sustainable Housing

California is facing a housing crisis. While there are numerous causes, a primary one is the high cost of land, since new construction is constrained by mountains to the east and the ocean to the west.  Infill development and high-rise construction is expensive, time-consuming and often long-delayed due to building regulations and local opposition.  Proposition 13, passed in 1979, has made it difficult and expensive for long-time homeowners to move or downsize, thereby limiting the supply of housing on one hand, and motivating conversion of multifamily housing into condominiums on the other.  Amidst all of this, the professionals on whom community well-being depends–teachers, police, firefighters, construction and service workers, janitors–cannot afford to live in the places they work.

What are we to do?

SSRF and its partners are working to increase affordable housing options in Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County by making backyard Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units as common and as acceptable as sliced bread. ADUs and JADUs offer numerous advantages over more conventional projects to build new housing in the region (and across California). They do not require costly new land acquisition or significant infrastructural additions, because the homeowner already owns the construction site and utilities are accessible through the main house on the property.  The construction footprint is small, a number of affordable financing options are available, the unit can provide a respectable return on investment, and it can house tenants, family and even homeowners seeking to downsize. You can learn more about affordable and sustainable housing by clicking on the links below.