HOUSING

How to apply for affordable housing in Santa Cruz County

A rendering of Pacific Station North, an affordable housing project in Downtown Santa Cruz.

Construction started this spring on 128 below-market-rate rentals at Pacific Station North on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz. It is anticipated to finish in February 2026. (First Community Housing)

Many Santa Cruz Local readers have asked about how to apply for below-market-rate apartments in new and upcoming housing projects.

There are some project-specific waitlists from nonprofit developers such as MidPen Housing, Eden Housing and others, but many projects under construction will draw tenants from waitlists maintained by the county and the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz. A new Santa Cruz Local resource page includes:

Read Santa Cruz Local’s affordable housing waitlist page

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COMMUNICATIONS

State awards millions for rural internet

Cruzio installed rooftop broadband internet equipment in Pajaro Valley in 2022. (Cruzio)

The California Public Utilities Commission recently awarded $45 million to internet companies for expanded internet access across the rural Central Coast, including Santa Cruz County. The grants are part of a state effort to close the digital divide and give rural residents access to high-speed internet.

The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership and the Central Coast Broadband Consortium helped win the state grants, MBEP staff wrote in a statement.

The grants include:

  • $10.1 million for Scotts Valley-based Surfnet Communications Inc. to expand high-speed fiber broadband to 465 places across Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara counties.
  • $29.5 million for San Martin-based LCB Communications LLC to provide internet in 1,101 places across Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey Counties. The program will use fiber broadband and fixed wireless access, which uses 4G and 5G to provide broadband-speed internet without cables.
  • $5.7 million to Santa Cruz-based Cruzio Media Inc. for expanded broadband equipment in 759 locations in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties in rural areas frequently at risk of natural disasters. The project will use “fixed” wireless access to expand high-speed broadband to thousands of locations, MBEP staff wrote.

—Jesse Kathan

SANTA CRUZ

Road, sewer work on Front, Pacific in July

A map showing with a dotted line the approximate location of a sewer pipe slated to be replaced between Front Street and Neary Lagoon in Downtown Santa Cruz.

Traffic on Front Street and Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz is expected to be delayed 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July through September for a sewer project. (Santa Cruz Local)

A section of the largest sewer pipe in Santa Cruz that flows into the Wastewater Treatment Facility will be replaced in a $4.7 million project from July through September. 

  • Some traffic delays are expected 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July through September. 
  • Residents nearby may hear a low “hum” from 24-hour pumps.
  • Summer is the most efficient time to conduct this work because of lower indoor water use and lack of rain, city staff wrote in a statement.

Separately, several downtown streets are expected to be resurfaced from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 8-17. 

  • Laurel Street from Front Street to Pacific Avenue.
  • Front Street from Laurel Street to the former Santa Cruz Metro bus depot.
  • Pacific Avenue from Laurel to Maple streets.

Read Santa Cruz Local’s Housing and Construction page

Santa Cruz Local journalists wrote these briefs and previews for our weekly newsletter. Want to receive these local updates, a preview of recent articles and more in your inbox each Sunday? Sign up for our free newsletter.

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Reporter / California Local News Fellow

Jesse Kathan is a staff reporter for Santa Cruz Local through the California Local News Fellowship. They hold a master's degree in science communications from UC Santa Cruz.