Last updated: May 2024

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Many Noticias Watsonville listeners have asked about affordable housing availability around Watsonville. Noticias Watsonville has created a resource page of waitlists for affordable housing in Watsonville. This list is not exhaustive.

Have a question about affordable housing or waitlists? Send Noticias Watsonville reporter Fidel M. Soto a message in English or Spanish on WhatsApp: https://wa.me/18312066981. Email questions to [email protected].

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Assistance signing up for waitlists

La Manzana Community Resources is a resource center in downtown Watsonville. Its staff can help with applications for affordable housing waitlists, including translation and form filling in English. 

  • 521 Main St., Suite Y, Watsonville.
  • (831) 724-2997.
  • Hours are 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Who is eligible for affordable housing?

Each affordable housing project has different eligibility requirements that include maximum household income and often additional requirements.

Income limits are set by the state each year. Income limits are based on the total household income before taxes. The area median income for Santa Cruz County for 2023 and income thresholds are shown below:

Household size 1 person 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Area median income (AMI) $92,950 $106,250 $119,500 $132,800 $143,400 $154,050 $164,650 $175,300
60% of AMI $55,770 $63,750 $71,700 $79,680 $86,040 $92,430 $98,790 $105,180
50% of AMI $46,475 $53,125 $59,750 $66,400 $71,700 $77,025 $82,325 $87,650
40% of AMI $37,180 $42,500 $47,800 $53,120 $57,360 $61,620 $65,860 $70,120
30% of AMI $27,885 $31,875 $35,850 $39,840 $43,020 $46,215 $49,395 $52,590

For example, if you live with your spouse, one child and your parents, your household has five people. If the combined income of your household of five people was $80,000 before taxes, your household made less than 60% of the area median income for Santa Cruz County ($86,040) and you could be eligible to apply for housing. 

Many affordable housing units have additional eligibility requirements. Units could be reserved for people who are:

  • Seniors.
  • Farmworkers.
  • Disabled.
  • Veterans.
  • Homeless or formerly homeless.
  • Current residents of the city or county.

Some affordable housing projects only accept people referred by a partner organization or from the county housing authority’s waitlist.

Open applications for affordable housing around Watsonville

Cienega Heights is an 80-unit apartment complex at 1515 Brewington Ave. in Watsonville that is expected to finish construction in June. (MidPen Housing) 

Cienega Heights

1515 Brewington Ave., Watsonville.

Applications for 42 apartments opened May 1 and will close 5 p.m. May 22, 2024. Thirty-four of the 42 units are reserved for farmworker households.

  • Property: An 80-unit housing complex is expected to finish construction in June 2024. It includes 32 one-bedroom, 23 two-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom units. There is one unit for a property manager. Residents are expected to begin moving in in July. 
  • Eligibility: Households that earn 30% to 60% of area median income (AMI) will be eligible to apply for 42 apartments. The California Department of Housing and Community Development set these income limits April 1:
Household size 1 person 2 3 4 5 6 7
60% AMI $76,080 $86,940 $97,800 $108,660 $117,360 $126,060 $134,760
50% AMI $63,400 $72,450 $81,500 $90,550 $97,800 $105,050 $112,300
30% AMI $38,040 $43,470 $48,900 $54,330 $58,680 $63,030 $67,380

Rent: Rent is determined based on income. Initial rents will be: 

Income One-bedroom unit Two-bedroom unit Three-bedroom unit
60% AMI $1,749 $2,100 $2,425
50% AMI $1,458 $1,750 $2,021
30% AMI $874 $1,050 $1,212

  • Application process: Fill out an application on MidPen’s website (English only) by 5 p.m. May 22, 2024. Applications are also available at 316 Main St., Watsonville. No preference will be given to the order in which applications were submitted. A week after applications close, a lottery will determine the order that households will be contacted by MidPen for interviews and asked to submit additional documents. Once all units are filled, the remaining applicants will be added to a waitlist for future vacancies in the order set by the lottery. MidPen requires an identification card but not necessarily a Social Security number.
  • Application help: Applications are only available in English. For application help, contact La Manzana Community Resources at 521 Main St., Suite Y, Watsonville or call 831-724-2997.
  • Household preferences: Households that live or work in Santa Cruz County will be prioritized, and 34 units will be reserved for farmworker families. A farmworker family is a household with at least one person who derives his or her income from agricultural employment. A farmworker family also could include a person who derived a substantial portion of their income from agricultural work prior to retirement or disability.
  • Separate waitlist for Housing Authority: Thirty-seven of the 79 units will be filled by referral from the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz’s waitlist with five units reserved for farmworker families. That waitlist is closed, but it opens every several years.
  • More information: Read more about the project in Spanish or English.

Open affordable housing waitlists around Watsonville

Applying for a housing waitlist is not a guarantee for housing. It can often take years to be offered housing from a waitlist.

The following waitlists are not for open housing units, but for potential future openings from MidPen Housing.

Jardines del Valle

76 Murphy Road, north of Aromas.

Jardines del Valle. (MidPen Housing)

  • Property: The 18-unit property includes two two-bedrooms, 12 three-bedrooms and four four-bedroom homes.
  • Eligibility: Households who earn 30% to 60% of area median income. MidPen requires an identification card but not necessarily a Social Security number. 
  • Waitlist application: To apply for the waitlist, email [email protected] or call 831-763-1844 to request an application. Waitlist applications are also at 76 Murphy Road.
  • Application help: Applications are only available in English. For application help, contact La Manzana Community Resources at 521 Main St., Suite Y, Watsonville or 831-724-2997.
San Andreas

295 San Andreas Road, near Pajaro Dunes

San Andreas. (MidPen Housing)

  • Property: The 42-unit property includes two one-bedroom, four two-bedroom, 24 three-bedroom and 12 four-bedroom homes.
  • Eligibility: Farmworker families earning up to 50% of area median income. A farmworker family is a household with at least one person who derives his or her income from agricultural employment. A farmworker family also could include a person who derived a substantial portion of their income from agricultural work prior to retirement or disability. MidPen requires an identification card but not necessarily a Social Security number. 
  • Waitlist application: To apply for the waitlist, email [email protected] and request an application. There are also applications at 295 San Andreas Road on Tuesdays and Thursdays during regular business hours. 
  • Application help: Applications are only available in English. For application help, contact La Manzana Community Resources at 521 Main St., Suite Y, Watsonville or 831-724-2997.
Via del Mar

124 W. Beach St., Watsonville.

Via del Mar. (MidPen Housing)

  • Property: The 40-unit property includes 13 one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom and seven three-bedroom homes.
  • Eligibility: Farmworker families earning up to 60% of area median income. A farmworker family is a household with at least one person who derives his or her income from agricultural employment. A farmworker family also could include a person who derived a substantial portion of their income from agricultural work prior to retirement or disability. MidPen requires an identification card but not necessarily a Social Security number. 
  • Waitlist application: To apply for the waitlist, fill out the application on MidPen’s website.
  • Application help: Applications are only available in English. For application help, contact La Manzana Community Resources at 521 Main St., Suite Y, Watsonville or 831-724-2997.

Interest lists for affordable housing under construction in Watsonville

Two MidPen Housing projects are expected to finish construction this year. The waitlists are not yet open, but interested residents can sign up to receive an email or text message when the waitlists open.

Sparrow Terrace

141 Miles Lane, Watsonville.

A rendering of the under-construction development on Miles Lane shows a person jogging on a sidewalk and greenery between multiple apartment buildings.

Sparrow Terrace, a 72-unit housing project at 141 Miles Lane in Watsonville, is expected to finish construction in summer 2024. (MidPen Housing)

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