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

Santa Cruz, a beach town that promotes a legacy of tolerance — “Keep Santa Cruz Weird” is the slogan on T-shirts — hasn’t been able to solve a persistent problem with homelessness. As city officials, nonprofits and activists struggle for answers, the onset of winter poses even more threat to those who find shelter in the open. Looming over everything this year is a resurgent coronavirus.

Beelia Hanson’s home in Santiago Villa, a mobile home park in Mountain View. Mobile homes -- not RV vans -- are not subject to Mountain View’s rent stabilization act.

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

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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