Housing + Development

Tents and belongings along the banks of the San Lorenzo River, a popular location for Santa Cruz’s homeless to find shelter. (Daniel Wu / Peninsula Press)

Coronavirus and winter make it harder to solve Santa Cruz’s homelessness problems

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One day in March, Jeffrey Jerozal got caught in a rainstorm. The sudden coronavirus lockdown put Santa Cruz’s businesses and residents on edge, and wherever Jerozal tried to take temporary shelter, he was met with hostility. A scuffle ensued, the police came, and the homeless man was taken to a hospital, wet and shivering. “It’s a damned state to get hypothermia in Santa Cruz,” he said. Experiences like Jerozal’s are common in a beach town that promotes its legacy of tolerance — “Keep Santa Cruz Weird” is the slogan on T-shirts — but hasn’t been able to solve a persistent problem with homelessness. As city officials, nonprofits and activists struggle…

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Undocumented Workers Face Worsening Economic Crisis Without Relief

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California’s undocumented workers face food insecurity and evictions now that $75 million in California state funding appropriated in April to support them through the crisis has been depleted. An estimated 2 million undocumented workers reside in California. Of those, approximately 125,000, or only a little less than 6 percent of them, received the one-time benefits of $500 per adult or $1000 per household before they dried up in July. “You have a hemorrhage and we’re giving you a Band-Aid,” said Maria Cadenas, co-founder of Undocufund, a group dedicated to providing financial support to undocumented immigrants in the North Central Coast. “I appreciate the intent. But it’s not enough.” Christopher Rios…

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Despite existing rent control laws, mobile home residents in Mountain View lack protection

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MOUNTAIN VIEW – Mobile homes, which refer to houses built in factories and transported to different sites, are affordable housing options in overpriced Mountain View. The city harbors six mobile home parks and a total of 1,130 mobile home spaces. But both a newly passed state law and an existing city law that limit how much landlords can increase rent do not apply to mobile homes.

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