Santa Cruz Housing Shortage Highlighted After the Fires
Santa Cruz Sentinel, author Hannah Hagemann

#: housing fires permits santa cruz FEMA

Photo credit:  https://www.bonnydoonfirerelief.org/

The landscape is horrifically changed and creating new challenges for the community.  photo credit: https://www.bonnydoonfirerelief.org/

In our county, Santa Cruz citizens have been hit especially hard over the last few months. The community has faced a housing shortage for some time, but the recent devastation to the county has left many residents in need.

After nearly 1000 Homes destroyed, about 300 people have been able to have short term housing needs met after the fires ravaged the area, and that program is set to expire.

“We have a great deal of need from people that have no housing,” Hoppin said, “We’re doing everything we can to try and find housing for those people, but you can’t navigate people into housing that doesn’t exist. I have no doubt there will be additional homelessness due to the fire,” Hoppin said. “We need more housing, period. Losing 1,000 units when we already have a low vacancy rate is not helpful.”

Some temporary solutions are being sought, such as short-term housing near the college, and permit approval for residents to live in trailers while sites are cleared and homes are rebuilt. The process can be slow and prohibitive-- as permits can't be given if the location of the trailer is considered "dangerous or hazardous". We truly hope that Santa Cruz County does everything in their bureaucratic power to push permits like these through quickly, and the permits that can limit or stall ability to rebuild after crisis.

Santa Cruz Sentinel, author Hannah Hagemann, highlights:

"The county is urging all residents who had out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the fire to apply for FEMA disaster assistance grants by Nov. 23, which is the registration deadline. The FEMA Individuals and Housing Program may help renters and homeowners cover the cost of temporary housing. If approved, evacuees can use these funds to recoup hotel charges they may have paid in advance. The FEMA Other Needs Assistance Program can help residents pay for the personal property they may have lost in the fire, and essential items such as clothing and school supplies."

  • Read the full Sentinel Article HERE.

  • To help families restore and rebuild, in the areas most devastated by the CZU Lightning Fire: donate HERE.

(Partnered with the Santa Cruz Community Fund, and 100% of donors' gifts will be used for the relief effort in the Bonny Doon Community.)

Housing affordability and access has been a major goal of starting Joy Line Homes, and we hope to offer our small part in helping these amazing people and places rise and rebuild. We commend the efforts of our community that are offering a helping hand or voice, and a sincere thank you to all the amazing volunteers and essential workers! We are grateful for your service!!