Following are some links to housing-related resources. Please note that the Housing Authority does not endorse or recommend any particular service, business, or agency.

Community Resources for Housing

Search the 2-1-1 database
Search 2-1-1 online, a comprehensive community services search tool that connects residents.

The United Way offers a list of member agencies that provide services.

Santa Cruz Public Libraries Community Information Database.

Monterey and San Benito County Emergency and Day Shelter Referrals

Smart Path, Santa Cruz County’s coordinated entry system for homeless programs and services

Rights and Responsibilities for Tenants and Landlords

Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in California –

A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities

Landlord Training Manual – A practical guide for Santa Cruz City Landlords and property owners.

City of Santa Cruz Interim Rental Housing Ordinances – On January 8, 2019, the Santa Cruz City Council passed Ordinance No. 2018-20 Amending Chapter 21.03 of the Municipal  Code as pertains to Relocation Assistance for Displaced Tenants. This ordinance was passed for adoption January 11, 2019. The document below summarizes this ordinance. The City of Santa Cruz has posted a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on the Relocation Assistance for Displaced Tenants, as well as the ordinance on their website, linked here.

City of Santa Cruz 2019 Rental Housing Ordinances

Renting and Housing Search Assistance

Craigslist online apartment listings in the South Bay area.

Search the Santa Cruz Sentinel classifieds here.

Search the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian classifieds here.

Search the Hollister Free Lance classifieds here.

HUD‘s resources for renters.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development, offers an Affordable Housing Rental Directory  that is regularly updated. It’s listed by county and provides contact information for rental homes that may be available.

Local Government Housing Programs

Santa Cruz County housing programs

City of Capitola housing programs

City of Santa Cruz housing programs

City of Scotts Valley housing programs

City of Watsonville housing programs


HUD‘s resources for first time homebuyers.

HUD‘s resources for homeowners.

Information about reverse mortgages from HUD.

Homepath – Fannie Mae’s resource page for first time homebuyers.

Keep your Home California – Programs designed to help you keep your home if you have suffered a financial hardship.

Improving the Quality of Your Life


GreatSchools is a national non-profit educational resource for parents, with a free web-based tool for parents who want information on local schools. This user-friendly website offers a database of more than 200,000 PreK-12 public, charter, magnet and private schools across the U.S., and includes information on how parents can choose the best school for their children.

Financial Information to Rent or Own

Learn to develop a spending plan, pay off debt and more:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Clear, impartial answers to hundreds of financial questions including auto loans, credit cards, student loans, debt collection, bank accounts, credit unions and more.

PensionHelp America – Have a question about your retirement plan? Not sure where to turn for help? PensionHelp America can connect you with counseling projects, government agencies, and legal service providers that offer free information and assistance. By leading you through a series of questions, PensionHelp America will put you on the path to getting the help you need.

Free Federal and State Income Tax Preparation – Find a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) site near you and learn what to bring to have your tax returns prepared.

Free Assistance to Individuals and Families

Career Centers – A network of centers which offer an array of no cost services for businesses, employees, and job seekers.

The Capitola EDD Center has a Veterans employment services representative.

Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc (CAB) – Programs assisting low-income people with emergency, sustaining/self-sufficiency services, including the Shelter Project, and information and referral.  The Rental Assistance Program offers eviction prevention to eligible individuals and families. Click here to read the flyer for more information (en español).

Homeless Service Center for homeless people (831-458-6020).

Encompass – Child Development Programs, programs for youth, and adults with psychiatric disabilities and substance abuse issues.

Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired serves people who are blind or visually impaired.

Community Bridges – Programs including children and nutrition, seniors and transportation, and family resources centers.

Senior Network Services Provides information and referral, senior housing, in-home care registry and more.

Senior Council – service, support and advocacy for seniors.

Central Coast Center for Independent Living provides services and support to persons with disabilities.

San Andreas Regional Center serves persons with developmental disabilities Legal Assistance.

Santa Cruz Free Guide  (Guia Gratis en SC/Watsonville/San Lorenzo Valley) -Information to get free help, meals, showers and toilets.

Stepping Up Santa Cruz Homeless Resouces Directory, click here to download.

Great Plates Free Meals for Seniors: A new state program called Great Plates is currently being established for adults 65 and older, and adults 60-64 who are at high-risk from COVID-19 and have limited incomes, to stay home and stay healthy, by delivering three nutritious meals a day, while also providing essential economic stimulus to local businesses and workers struggling to stay afloat during the COVID crisis. The criteria for this state program are here.

To apply, call 831-454-4406 or send an e-mail to

Legal Assistance

California Rural Legal Assistance – Access to justice for the poor.

Senior Citizens Legal Assistance – Access to justice for the elderly.

Self Help Superior Court Santa Cruz County – Assists self represented customers with a variety of basic legal issues. The SHC includes the services of the Family Law Facilitator and the Small Claims Advisor.

County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department provides basic services for children and families, seniors and veterans, as well as employment and workforce services.

Santa Cruz Veterans Resource Center – VRC offers Supportive Services for Veterans and their Families. The focus of SSVF is housing stability.

US Department of Veterans Affairs – Health Care, Benefits, Referral to housing assistance and more.

County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency provides basic health services, clinics, public health, services for people with disabilities, and environmental services.

Department of Fair Employment and Housing – The mission of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, and from the perpetration of acts of hate violence and human trafficking.

Identify Theft Assistance

The State of California, Department of Justice
The Federal Trade Commission

Improving Access to Essential Services

Phone service, both landline and cellphones

Financial assistance programs from PG&E to help with utility bills.

Internet Essentials provides low cost broadband services and computers, and Internet training to families receiving rental assistance from a Public Housing Authority or with at least one child receiving free lunch under the National School Lunch Program. Flyer

Access from AT&T – Low-cost wireline home internet service to qualifying households: with at least one resident who participates in the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or at least one member of your household receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  Flyer   Spanish Flyer

Free or Low-Cost Internet Service and Other Related Resources (Devices and Content) that can assist HUD-Assisted Residents during COVID-19 crisis

Learn more about energy efficiency through the federal Energy Star program.

Immigration Resources

The mission of the Housing Authority is to promote access to quality affordable housing, utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life, and support inclusive, healthy and sustainable communities free from discrimination. In this spirit, the Housing Authority has compiled a list of resources for immigrant families, many of whom have expressed concern about recent changes in immigration policy and enforcement.

Please see these links to the flyer Getting-the-Help-You-Need:

The Department of Homeland Security’s new public rule was published on August 14, 2019, but will not go into effect until October 15, 2019. The rule might be stopped or delayed beyond that date by courts. “Public charge” or the “public charge test” is used by immigration officials to decide whether a person can enter the U.S. or get a green card (lawful permanent resident status). In this test, officials look at all of a person’s circumstances, including income, employment, health, education or skills, family situation and whether a sponsor signed a contract (“affidavit of support”) promising to support the person. Officials can also look at whether a person has used certain public benefit programs. In the past, only cash assistance and long-term care were counted.  Under the new rule, the following benefits will be counted as a negative factor in the Public Charge test: SSI (Social Security Income), CalWORKs, General Assistance, Benefits provided for institutionalization for long-term care, Medi-Cal (except for “emergency Medi-Cal;” benefits received while under age 21; and pregnancy benefits including 60 days post-pregnancy),  CalFresh, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, Project-Based Rental Assistance, and Public Housing. Many immigrants remain eligible for public benefits programs and should be unaffected by this rule. The Public Charge Test does NOT apply to: Someone applying for Citizenship, Asylees, Refugees, Lawful Permanent Residents (unless they leave the country for 6+ months), Lawful Permanent Residents seeking to renew their green cards, Survivors of Domestic Violence, Trafficking, or Other Serious Crimes (U or T Visa applicants / holders), Applicants or holders of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, VAWA Self-petitioners, or TPS recipients.  Immigrant families may consider consulting with an immigration law expert before making important decisions about the health and well-being of their families. Click here for an initial list of CA immigration service providers willing to provide consultations and education on public charge. Contact CAB’s Immigration Project at (831) 724-5667.  Under the new public charge rule, many government-funded services are still safe to use and do not cause any immigration harm. School-funded programs like free and reduced lunch, emergency Medi-Cal (Medicaid), disaster relief, Head Start and more all remain safe to use. The new public charge rule does not apply to immigration applications filed before October 15, 2019.  The new public charge rule does not apply to pending adjustment of status applications and new applications postmarked before October 15, 2019.

La misión de la Autoridad de Viviendas es promover el acceso a viviendas de calidad a precio razonable, utilizar la vivienda como plataforma para mejorar la calidad de vida, y apoyar comunidades inclusivas, saludables y sostenibles, libres de discriminación. En este espíritu, la Autoridad de Viviendas ha compilado una lista de recursos para familias inmigrantes, muchas de las cuales han expresado su preocupación a causa de los recientes cambios en normas de inmigración y su cumplimiento.

Por favor vea este enlace al volante Obteniendo la ayuda que necesita: Obtenga la Ayuda que Necesita

El nuevo reglamento público del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional se publicó el 14 de agosto, 2019, pero no entrará en vigencia hasta el 15 de octubre, 2019. Es posible que el reglamento sea detenido o demorado más allá de esa fecha en las cortes. “Carga pública” o la “prueba de carga pública” es utilizada por los oficiales de inmigración para decidir si una persona puede entrar a los E.E.U.U. o para obtener una tarjeta verde (estatus de residente permanente legal). En esta prueba, los oficiales se fijan en todas las circunstancias de la persona, incluso sus ingresos, su empleo, salud, educación o destrezas, su situación familiar y si un patrocinador firmó un contrato (declaración jurada de apoyo económico) prometiendo sustentar a la persona. Los oficiales también pueden ver si la persona ha usado ciertos programas de beneficios públicos. En el pasado solamente contaba la asistencia en efectivo y los cuidados a largo plazo. Bajo el nuevo reglamento, los siguientes beneficios contarán como un factor negativo en la Prueba de Carga Pública: SSI (ingresos del Seguro Social) CalWORKs, Asistencia general, beneficios proporcionados para atención a largo plazo en una institución, Medi-Cal (excepto beneficios de  Medi-Cal de emergencia recibidos antes de los 21 años de edad y beneficios por embarazo inclusive 60 días post-embarazo), CalFresh, Cupón de Selección de Vivienda de la Sección 8, Asistencia de Renta Basada en Proyecto y Vivienda Pública. Muchos inmigrantes seguirán siendo elegibles para programas de beneficios públicos y no se verán afectados por este reglamento. La Prueba de Carga Pública NO se aplica a: una persona que solicita la ciudadanía, Asilados, Refugiados, Residentes permanentes legales (a menos que se ausenten del país por más de 6 meses), residentes permanentes legales que renuevan su mica, sobrevivientes de Violencia Doméstica, tráfico u otro crimen de gravedad (solicitantes/poseedores de visas U oT) Solicitantes o poseedores de Estatus Especial de Inmigrante Juvenil, peticionarias de VAWA (ley de violencia contra mujeres) o recipientes de TPS. Las familias inmigrantes pueden considerar consultar con un experto en leyes de inmigración antes de tomar decisiones importantes acerca de la salud y el bienestar de su familia. Haga clic aquí para ver una lista inicial de proveedores de servicios de inmigración en California dispuestos a dar consultas y educación acerca de la carga pública. Llame al Proyecto de Inmigración de CAB al 831-724-5667. Bajo el nuevo reglamento de carga pública muchos de los servicios subvencionados por el gobierno se pueden seguir usando con seguridad y no causan perjuicios de inmigración. Los programas subvencionados por las escuelas como almuerzos gratis o descontados, el Medi-Cal (Medicaid), alivio de desastres, Head Start y otros siguen siendo seguros para utilizar. El nuevo reglamento de carga pública no se aplica a solicitudes de inmigración sometidas antes del 15 de octubre del 2019. El nuevo reglamento de carga pública no se aplica a solicitudes pendientes para hacer ajuste de estatus ni a solicitudes nuevas con fecha de matasellos antes del 15 de octubre, 2109.

Violence Against Women Act Resources:

The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office, Victims Services at 831.454.2400. The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800. 799.7233 or, for persons with hearing impairments: 1.800.787.3224 (TTY). The National Center for Victims of Crime’s Stalking Resource Center:

Si desea una traducción en español, por favor llame al (831) 454-9455.