Following are links to a wide variety of community resources. We hope that you find these resources helpful. Please note that the Housing Authority does not endorse or recommend any particular service, business, or agency.
CZU August Lightning Complex Fires Information and Resources
Renting and Housing Search Assistance
Local Government Housing Programs
Food and Nutrition Resources
Quality of Life Resources
Community Benefits and Resources
Resources for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
Resources for Veterans
Violence Against Women Act Resources
Identity Theft Resources
Improving Access to Essential Services and Bridging the Digital Divide
Listed below are links and websites that you can access to get information or help if you have been affected by the CZU Lighting complex fire.
- Santa Cruz County CZU Lightning Complex Fire Resource Page: This website has a summary of information and resources including Federal assistance such as FEMA, news and press releases, damage and evacuation maps, and more.
- FEMA : Renters, homeowners and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week.
- Community-Powered Relief + Rescue. Currently supporting those impacted by the CZU Lightning Complex Fires.
- California Disaster Legal Services. This is a coalition of organizations and law firms in Northern California working together to offer free legal services to survivors of natural disasters.
- California Wildfire Response Resources: This California state webpage lists information on the impact of wildfire incidents to air quality, road conditions and resources including shelters, food banks, employment assistance, financial assistance and immigrant resources.
- Housing Authority Resources: This document summarizes Housing Authority programs and waiting lists that may be helpful to low-income households impacted by the wildfires.
Rent and Utility Support due to COVID-19 impacts: The County of Santa Cruz is pleased to announce the CARES Rental Assistance Program. The program is limited to residents of the unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County whose annual income does not exceed 80 percent of area median income (for a single-person household, income must be at or below $74,350). Unpaid or partially paid rent and utility payments going back to April 1, 2020 are eligible up to a maximum of $10,000 per household. Income losses must be due to COVID-19-related factors. The County anticipates that there will be two application deadlines with recipients selected through a list prioritized through a random drawing. The deadline to apply for the first random drawing is September 15, 2020. Applications can be submitted electronically or physically. Please visit https://cabinc.org/ or https://www.sccoplanning.com/PlanningHome/Housing.aspx.
HUD‘s resources for renters includes links to privately owned subsidized housing, Public Housing, rental help by state, and properties with Low Income Tax Credits.
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.
If you are experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz County and are looking for a permanent place to call home, the first step is to complete a Smart Path Assessment. To find out where you can complete an assessment, please visit one of the Access Points listed here, visit the 211 website, or call 211 to speak to someone about getting assistance.
Human Services Department of the County of Santa Cruz COVID-19 and Homeless Services. Informational page for homeless services providers, persons experiencing homelessness or seeking assistance with meeting basic needs.
Monterey and San Benito County Emergency and Day Shelter Referrals – This 2018 list includes all emergency shelters and centers serving persons experiencing homelessness.
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.
Santa Cruz County – The Housing Section of the Planning Department’s current housing activities include partnering with non-profit affordable housing developers to build new affordable units and supporting a variety of efforts to create affordable housing opportunities in the community.
City of Capitola – The Community Development Department is responsible for administering the City’s affordable housing programs. The City provides funding for the emergency housing assistance program, security deposit assistance and the inclusionary (affordable) housing program.
City of Santa Cruz – The Economic Department of the City provides housing assistance information.
City of Scotts Valley – The Planning Department of the City provides information on affordable housing programs
City of Watsonville – The Community Development Department of the City has first time homebuyer’s assistance, down payment assistance, and rehabilitation assistance.
Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in California – Find out key laws every California landlord and tenant needs to know.
A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities – This 2012 publication from the Department of Consumer Affairs provides 121 pages of information for tenants and landlords.
Landlord Training Manual – A practical guide for Santa Cruz City Landlords and property owners.
California Rural Legal Assistance – – provides direct legal services, community outreach and educational workshops to farmworkers and other low-income Caledonians.
Senior Citizens Legal Assistance – – provides free legal services to elderly residents of Santa Cruz an San Benito Counties.
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.
The County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department provides basic services for children and families, seniors and veterans, as well as employment and workforce services.
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.
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 documents below summarizes this ordinance. Ordinance no. 2019-01 an interim ordinance of the City Council
Large Rent Increase FAQ – City of Santa Cruz
A new State law helps protect tenants from evictions and aids landlords hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 states no tenant can be evicted before February 1, 2021 as a result of rent owed due to a COVID-19 related hardship accrued between March 4 – August 31, 2020, if the tenant provides a declaration of hardship according to the legislation’s timelines. For a COVID-19 related hardship that accrues between September 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021, tenants must also pay at least 25 percent of the rent due to avoid eviction. The Tenant Act preempts any ordinance adopted by a city or county of in response to COVID-19 pandemic to protect tenants from eviction based on nonpayment of rent.
The Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/Centers For Disease Control (CDC) order expands the CARES ACT eviction moratorium through the end of the year (12/31/20). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-09-04/pdf/2020-19654.pdf https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/declaration-form.pdf
Please check with your city or county for any information about local eviction moratorium ordinances, and how they relate to the State or CDC moratorium.
Second Harvest Food Bank: https://www.thefoodbank.org/food-distribution-nutrition-education-locations-times/ or call the hotline (831) 662-0991 8AM – 4PM, where they will help you find the closest location to you. San Benito County residents, call (831) 637-0340.
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 email@example.com
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.
Cabrillo College is a public community college that offers academic and career programs, financial aid, associate degrees, and certificate programs and assistance to transfer to four-year universities.
UCSC is a public university that combines the intimacy of a small liberal arts community with the depth and rigor of a major research university.
Child Development Resource Center provides families with help finding child care, provides child care programs/ providers with training and quality improvements, and provides community resources and education on early childhood development.
The United Way Coordinates community efforts including Smart Solutions to Homelessness, Children’s Network, Youth Programs and emerging community concerns.
Santa Cruz Public Libraries Hosts an online, searchable, Community Information Database.
Learn to develop a spending plan, pay off debt and more: www.MyMoney.gov
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.
Benefit Kitchen is an app that you can use to learn about 18 federal, state, and local benefits. It helps residents learn their eligibility for benefits including CalFresh, Medi-Cal, utility assistance, tax credits, and more. The screening is free and we will never ask you for your name, address, or SSN.
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).
Housing Matters (831-458-6020). Are you or someone you care about experiencing homelessness? Get started on the path to effective services today.
Familywize is a free prescription savings card. No registration or eligibility criteria, you can use it whether you’re insured or uninsured, use it every time.
Encompass Community Services – Child Development Programs, programs for youth, and adults with psychiatric disabilities and substance abuse issues.
Community Bridges – Programs including children and nutrition, seniors and transportation, and family resources centers.
https://steppingupsantacruz.org/ – Helping people experiencing homelessness find available services.
Free Tax Return Preparation. Call 2-1-1.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to put a huge strain on household finances. Even in a normal year, a tax refund may be the biggest check you receive all year.
This year, if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Child Tax Credit (CTC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is allowing you to choose whether to use your 2019 or 2020 income to receive the most credits for which you are eligible. By filing your taxes, you can also make sure you get any stimulus money you may not have received.
We encourage you to file your taxes as soon as you can to take advantage of this money.
Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired serves people who are blind or visually impaired.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org’
US Department of Veterans Affairs – Health Care, Benefits, Referral to housing assistance and more.
Santa Cruz Veterans Resource Center – VRC offers Supportive Services for Veterans and their Families. The focus of SSVF is housing stability.
Sexual Assault Services – 24 hour Bilingual hotline: 1-888-900-4232. Monarch Services
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: https://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center
Santa Cruz County Public Health provides no-or-low cost public health, clinical, behavioral health, and environmental health service.
Salud Para La Gente is a nonprofit healthcare organization with clinics in Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County that serves people regardless of ability to pay.
East Cliff Family and SC Womens – Health Center is a nonprofit provider of affordable and comprehensive health services.
The State of California, Department of Justice. Identity theft is someone taking personal information like your name, Social Security number, or financial account number and using it for an unlawful purpose. The State of California Attorney Generals Office lists information for consumers and alerts.
The Federal Trade Commission. If someone is using your personal information to open accounts, file taxes, or make purchases, visit IdentityTheft.gov, the federal government’s one-stop resource to help you report and recover from identity theft.
Phone service, both landline and cellphones. The Lifeline program provides a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers.
Financial assistance programs from PG&E. PG&E offers many programs that can help you save money and energy.
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, This list was prepared by the Community & Supportive Services Division, Office of Public Housing Investments, 3.17.2020
Learn more about energy efficiency through the federal Energy Star program.
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: https://protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/