You’d better take a lot of pictures of Santa Cruz as it looks now, because the times they are a changin’.
We all know we need affordable housing, and with each day that passes, rents become more unaffordable. Buying a house seems unimaginable and our once quaint town is growing like a teen on steroids.
One seemingly logical train of thought is that if we build more housing, prices will come down. By creating more supply, demand will decrease, housing advocates theorize. And in many ways, that might be the best path.
However, to do that in a limited space, you have to build up, not out. And to make living affordable, the government has to step in and require developers to include units at reasonable prices.
But therein lies the rub. In a desirable beach community like ours, with two colleges and lots of vacation homes owned by Silicon Valley residents, supply can never outpace demand. People are going to want to live here no matter what.
And by that, I might add, rich people will want to live here and they can afford to bid up everything. UCSC should not be limited to students with wealthy parents who can absorb the increasing tuition and housing costs. Cabrillo students are often bunking with their families and the cost of living here is driving the school’s attendance steadily down to almost half of what it was a decade ago.
There’s some light in that tunnel, as the state is helping to fund student housing for both schools, but it all seems like a drop in the bucket.
Our pages this week are lined with housing complaints. Our Street Talk column asks people on the street when they can afford a house and the answers are numbingly sad.
“I would need a new line of work,” said one 27-year-old woman. “I’m a teacher, but it would be nice to have a job that could afford you a house. My partner and I work in two of the least lucrative industries in one of the most expensive places on Earth. That’s a tough combination.”
It’s been a running theme lately. We have made one of the greatest small cities in the world, but few young or middle class people can afford to live here. We’ve got more opinions in letters on this page.
Do you have any solutions? Send them in and share them with our readers.
Send to [email protected]
Thanks for reading and sending us your views.
Brad Kava | Editor
The County of Santa Cruz has completed a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Coastal Rail Trail Segments 10 and 11 Project.
The Project extends along the Santa Cruz Branch Line rail corridor from the eastern side of 17th Avenue to the western side of State Park Drive in Aptos on the east.
The public review period began Oct. 16 and ends Dec. 15. Comments on the Draft EIR should be submitted in writing to Rob Tidmore at 979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 or via email to [email protected]
Every public school student and teacher, as well as every Californian with a library card, can now access over 5,000 theater, music and dance performance videos and audio performances and over 3,000 world music albums anytime they want, online at no charge through their school district and local library.
Check the online resources section of your local library or ask a librarian. If the library hasn’t added the resources yet, encourage library staff to find out more by emailing [email protected].
Quote of the Week
“Anything that costs you your peace is too expensive.”