“I do not support the proposed ballot measure for rent control in the City of Santa Cruz because it’s the wrong solution to a critical problem. Here’s why:

Past generations of Santa Cruzans built a beautiful downtown, created neighborhoods, constructed roads and parks, and of course the homes where countless families have thrived over the years. They did this with the goal of strengthening neighborhoods, protecting our environment, and making Santa Cruz a place where working families could call home.

Today, the escalation of living costs has made it unaffordable for families to live here. Although it’s called a housing crisis, our situation is better described as an affordable housing shortage.

While Santa Cruz has more than 1,800 deed-restricted affordable housing units, and another 1,300 Section 8 housing units, there remains a significant number of people squeezed out by high rents. Those rents are driven upward by high incomes from the tech economy, nearly 20,000 UC Santa Cruz students, and a soaring demand for a housing supply that’s grown very little in 40 years.

This situation has led to dwindling housing opportunities as well as a reduced quality of life for many renters and prospective homeowners.

We need thoughtful, fair and data-driven action to address our housing shortage. Unfortunately, the rent-control proposal that will appear on our November ballot is not thoughtful or fair, and if approved will make this tough situation even worse.”

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