Report a Violation

County Environmental Health Department
(831) 454-2022

City Code Compliance Division
(831) 420-5100, option 4

District Attorney’s Office, Consumer Protection
(831) 454-2400

Legal Advice

California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA)
(831) 724-7530
1740 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz
21 Carr Street, Watsonville
Free legal assistance for low-income communities in California

Santa Cruz Tenants Organizing Committee (SCTOC);
Education, outreach, and direct action organizing to effect positive change on affordable housing in Santa Cruz

Watsonville Law Clinic
(831) 722-2845
Free legal-service clinic for low-income communities in the California Central Coast

Renters Assistance

Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County
(831)454-9455: assistance with rent and Section 8
2931 Mission St, Santa Cruz CA 95060
Mission includes promoting access to quality, affordable housing and supporting inclusive communities

UCSC Slug Support
(831) 459-4446
Hahn Student Services 245
1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Support services for UCSC undergraduate and graduate students experiencing housing, food, and financial insecurity

Policy Tools

SC County Planning Department–Housing Section
The County Planning Department's Housing Section has online resources for local housing ordinances, and information on topics such as Measure J affordable housing, and County Homeless Services. Every four years, it publishes the Housing Element report, which guides land use planning and development and includes an assessment of housing local housing needs and resources.

Urban Displacement Project
UC Berkeley's Urban Displacement Project studies gentrification and displacement in American cities, with a particular focus on the San Francisco Bay Area. It creates tools to help communities identify the pressures surrounding them and take more effective action. Its policy tools map is a useful index of which anti-displacement measures have been put in place by cities throughout the region. The policy briefs section covers issues impacting rent control, inclusionary housing, and condominium conversion.

Homes for All-Renter Rights
Right to the City Alliance's Rise of the Renter Nation, made available as part of the Homes for All Renter Rights platform, is a guide to the roots and ramifications of the national affordable housing crisis. It contains a section of recommendations for reforming national housing policy with the goal of housing security for all.


Homeless Services
(831) 498-9441 (message only)
Multiagency community initiative in Santa Cruz County to end homelessness by 2020 (a lot of great additional resources/information)

Freedom Sleepers
Grassroots activists and homeless people working to repeal the RV ban in Santa Cruz

Homeless Garden Project (HGP)
(831) 426-3609
110 Cooper Street Suite 100G (store)
30 West Cliff Drive (office)
Shaffer Road at Delaware Ave (garden)
Nonprofit providing job training, transitional employment, and support services for people who are homeless

Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom
(831) 423-HUFF
Grassroots activist organization

Housing NOW
Santa Cruz Grassroots alliance advocating for economic security for low income and homeless people in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County Smart Solutions to Homelessness
(831) 479-5466
United Way of Santa Cruz County Initiative formed in 2011 to organize collective responses to and plans for transformation of homelessness throughout the county

Proyecto de Asistencia Legal para Personas sin Hogar de Santa Cruz
Advocacy and support group

Santa Cruz Homeless Services Center
(831) 458-6020
Programs include transitional shelters, permanent housing programs, and income and employment support

Tenants Rights
Tenants unions promote the preservation and expansion of the rights of tenants and the supply of affordable housing. These are mostly volunteer-run organizations providing advice on how to secure and maintain habitable and affordable housing, drop-in counseling services, and information on tenants’ rights. They may also pressure legislators to advance pro-tenant policies. Beyond rights and advocacy, activist tenants unions can organize “rent strikes” in opposition to particular landlords over rent increases, harassment, or code violations.
Regional Tenants Unions:
Berkeley Tenants Union
Mountain View Tenants Coalition:
Oakland Tenants Union
San Francisco Tenants Union:

Other organizations:
Residents Insisting on Social Equity (RISE)
Multicultural, ethnic, and religious group advocating for affordable housing and jobs

Residents United Network
Facilitated by Housing California and Center for Community Change, the group is designed to engage affordable-home residents in the decisions that affect the health and stability of their lives and communities and harness people power as a political force in order to influence policy and budget decisions at the state, regional, and local level.

San Francisco Yes In My Backyard (SFYIMBY) Party Congress
San Francisco’s organized pro-housing voting constituency

Silicon Valley@Home
A membership organization that advocates for policies, programs, land use, and funding that lead to an increased supply of affordable housing. Educates elected officials and the public about the need for housing, and links between housing and other quality of life outcomes, including education, health, transportation and the environment.

SPUR: Ideas and Action for a Better City
With offices in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland, SPUR is a civic planning organization and a member-supported nonprofit organization. Publishes The Urbanist, and host more than 200 events a year.

Tenants Together
Statewide renters’ rights organization focused on:
Education: Tenant Rights Hotline provides peer-counseling. Tenant Leadership Institute trains residents on organizing in their own buildings and communities on advancing tenants’ rights.
Organizing: Provide resources for individual tenants to form Tenant Action Groups and recruit groups to become member organizations of Tenants Together. Provide technical assistance on organizing campaigns and build coalitions to win state and local legislative battles. Prioritize cities that do not yet have groups focused on tenant organizing.
Advocacy: Tenant Lawyer Network trains tenant attorneys across the state to advocate for renters’ rights, files impact litigation, and provides legal assistance to campaigns in drafting and reviewing legislation, as well as lending expertise to many state bills that impact renters’ rights.

Urban Displacement Project
A research and action initiative of UC Berkeley in collaboration with researchers at UCLA, UCSC, community based organizations, regional planning agencies and the State of California’s Air Resources Board. The project aims to understand the nature of gentrification and displacement in the Bay Area. It focuses on creating tools to help communities identify the pressures surrounding them and take more effective action.

Urban Habitat – Housing Justice Campaign
Co-organized the 6 Wins Network, made up of 20 Bay Area social justice, faith, public health, housing, and environmental organizations came together in 2010. Developed the Equity, Environment and Jobs (EEJ) scenario for Plan Bay Area.

Regional and State
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project
AEMP uses qualitative and quantitative mapping to “document the dispossession of San Francisco Bay Area residents.” Includes impacts of Ellis Act evictions, tech shuttle stops, and AirBnB on rent increases, gentrification, and displacement, as well as the political networks that support these measures.

City of Santa Cruz Housing Assistance Information
Incldues information about affordable housing, resolving problems between renters and landlords, assistance for those with difficulty paying rent, and an overview of housing programs in Santa Cruz

Association of Bay Area Governments
Issues state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Plans for San Francisco Bay Area

Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments
Issues state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Plans for Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties

Community Economics
Provides technical expertise in nonprofit affordable housing development and community-based economic development

East Bay Community Law Center Housing Program
Berkeley/East Bay Legal program focused on defending eviction lawsuits brought against low income tenants

East Bay Housing Organization
A membership non-profit organization dedicated to working with communities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties to preserve, protect and expand affordable housing opportunities through education, advocacy, organizing, and coalition building

Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity (ECHO)—Alameda County
A comprehensive housing counseling agency providing education and charitable assistance to the general public to obtain and maintain housing and improve social, economic, familial, and educational conditions

Housing California
Advocates for affordable housing policies and budgetary allocations in the state Capitol Holds annual conference on housing in Sacramento

Law Foundation of Silicon Valley—San Jose
Advocates on behalf of renters

Non-Profit Housing of Northern California
Focuses the non-profit sector and government policy on strategies to build, develop, and preserve affordable housing. Does legislative advocacy and offers technical assistance, public policy development, professional training, networking opportunities, and resources for housing policy analysts, advocates and activists.

Project Sentinel
HUD (Housing and Urban Development, federal agency)-approved housing counselling agency

Grounded Solutions Network
The National Community Land Trust Network and Cornerstone Partnership joined forces to form this network. Works nationally, connecting local experts with the networks, knowledge and support
See: National Community Land Trust Network directory includes listings for 24 CLTs in California, more than any other state in US, and resources for creating a CLT

Homes for All
National campaign launched in 2013, through the national Right to the City umbrella organization, with the goal of broadening the conversation of the housing crisis beyond foreclosure and putting forth a comprehensive housing agenda that also speaks to issues affecting public housing residents, homeless families, and the growing number of renters in American cities.

Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University
Aims to investigate and illuminate housing’s critical role in the economy and in communities, serving as a resource for scholars, public and private sector leaders, housing practitioners, and policymakers. Their signature annual report, The State of the Nation’s Housing, summarizes their analysis of key trends each year.