Housing crisis impacting city and county employees, survey reveals

Student News

Those who work for and serve the city and county of Santa Cruz are being impacted by the housing crisis, according to UC Santa Cruz researchers who surveyed nearly 500 people in the latest installment of an ongoing community-based effort to document how people are coping with rising costs and limited availability.The results of the study, “No Place Like Home,” will be presented on Thursday, October 18, as part of “No Place Like Home: Building Local Housing Solutions for All,” a free community-wide conversation that begins at 7 p.m. in the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. The event will focus on policy proposals, including rent control and just-cause eviction, and feature a panel discussion with local and regional housing experts. Spanish translation will be available and refreshments will be provided.
“We want to share the findings from our latest study, which looks at the experiences of both renters and homeowners who directly serve our community,” said Steve McKay, associate professor of sociology, who co-leads No Place Like Home with Sociology Professor Miriam Greenberg. Previous surveys documented the impact on renters and the unequal burdens experienced by county residents.
In this installment, McKay and Greenberg collaborated with Service Employee International Union Local 521, whose members include city and county employees, as well as employees of two of the county’s largest nonprofits: Community Bridges and Salud Para la Gente. “We talked to a cross section of the people who make Santa Cruz run—from bus drivers and social workers to dental assistants and rangers,” said McKay. In addition to nearly 500 surveys, they conducted 30 in-depth interviews in an attempt to document impacts as well as opinions regarding a range of proposed policy solutions.
Survey results provide a snapshot of burdens faced by local families, including financial hardships, involuntary moves, and the impacts of housing displacement on commute times, housing security, and children’s schooling, said McKay. Among …

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