Santa Cruz County encompasses four cities (Santa Cruz, Capitola, Scotts Valley, and Watsonville) and a large unincorporated area, including Aptos, Soquel, and Live Oak.
We highlight four key issues: rent burden, overcrowding, forced moves/evictions, and experiences with major problems, because all four significantly impact renters. The issue definitions are based on those used in the US Census (rent burden and overcrowding), and in recent housing studies and scholarship on evictions (major problems). Learn more >
We focused on renters as they represent 60% of Santa Cruz residents and 42% of county residents, and are among the hardest hit by the affordable housing crisis. We selected these neighborhoods as they have high renter and Latinx populations, and are primarily low-income. Spanish-speaking and low-income renters are “difficult-to-reach” populations that are often undercounted by the census and other surveys.