New Programs Offer Low-Cost High-Speed Internet

We are pleased to announce new opportunities for people with low-incomes to access the internet. Comcast-Xfinity, AT&T and Charter have high-speed internet service programs for $10 – $15 a month.

Each company has specific qualifications.

  • Comcast-Xfinity’s program is called ‘Internet Essentials’ and has a qualification that you are receiving rental assistance from the Housing Authority. You would need to provide verification.*
  • AT&T’s program is called ‘Access from AT&T’ and has a qualification that a member of your household is receiving SNAP, otherwise known as CalFresh, or receiving SSI. You would need to provide that documentation.
  • Charter’s program is called Spectrum Internet Assist and has qualifications that you are either a senior age 65 or older with Supplemental Security Income or a family with a child who’s eligible for free or reduced lunch. You would need to provide verification of a letter from the school or a letter on SSI and proof of age.

Please contact the company directly if you need more information or help applying:

  • Comcast Xfinity: 1-(855)-847-3356
  • AT&T: English 1-(855)-220-5211 or Spanish 1-(855)-220-5225
  • Spectrum Internet Assist 1-(844)-525-1574

Housing Authority Launches Program to Attract Landlords

The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz is pleased to announce a new program to encourage landlords to rent to Section 8 tenants by offering investment protection and financial peace of mind for those willing to help address the local housing affordability crisis.

Using the Landlord Incentive Program, landlords will be eligible for reimbursement up to $2,500 should they incur certain expenses within the first year of tenancy, including damages, unpaid rent, vacancy loss, or legal fees associated with termination for lease violations or lease compliance.  The claim could cover amounts that exceed the tenant’s security deposit. Landlords can find more information here.

The program is now available countywide, and funding has been provided by the County of Santa Cruz, as well as the cities of Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and Watsonville.  Claims are subject to availability of funds.

“With the establishment of this Landlord Incentive Program, there has really never been a better time to for landlords to accept families with Section 8 vouchers,” said Jenny Panetta, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz. “We’ve always assured landlords that tenants with rental vouchers are good tenants, and are no different from tenants in the private market.  In some ways, they’re even better.  Section 8 tenants now come with a certain degree of protection for landlords!”

For more information, check-out the brochure and landlord incentive website.

Agency Report 2017

The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz provides affordable housing to thousands of low-income individuals and families in our community each year.  Through our programs, we’re not just providing housing, we’re changing lives!  Check out our Agency Report 2017 to learn more about our programs, the families we serve, and how we’re working to provide and promote affordable housing.

USDA Summer Meals

The Summer Meal programs are ready for another season of feeding kids in the summer, and a new site finder has launched! https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks

There’s no paperwork or documentation required. Simply show up!

Weekly updates are provided by US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) through the first week of September 2017.

To find sites nearby, follow the four numbered steps shown on the website. Start with the Find Sites button located on the map. Enter an address (home, school, etc.) and then click Locate. Click on the plus-sign (+) of the scroll-bar (on the left side of the map) to get a closer view of lunch sites in this county. (The curser may be needed to move this county to the center of the webpage). Both Points on the map, and a List of the ten closest lunch sites will appear. To find out details of a nearby site, either click on the Point, or the List name; a card will pop-up with address, meal type, and hours. For directions click Open Directions on the card.

“When I Grow Up I Want to Be…”

We believe children and youth with stable housing have better access to safe housing and stronger connections to their schools, which leads to better futures. The Housing Authority wants to display children and youth poster art in the office lobby. The theme is: “When I grow up I want to become…”

Participation is open to all children and youth (under age 18)

Young artists may use watercolor, oil or acrylic paint, pen and ink, pastel, pencil/graphite, marker, crayon, or collage; please consider that posters will need to be copied, as well as displayed in a glass wall case.

Size: cannot be smaller than 8″ x 10″ or larger than 18″ x 24″

Use the downloadable application and permission form. List the child or youth’s name and the grade level they will enter in the fall. Please write the career they want (doctors, dog breeders, pilots, farmers, artists, whatever they are dreaming of becoming). Sign the permission that allows the Housing Authority to display, copy and keep the poster art. Tape the form to the back of the poster.

Posters can be mailed or dropped off during business hours to the Housing Authority from June 18 through August 3, 2017.

The Housing Authority will not be able to return any of the posters.

The Housing Authority will award four prizes, one for each school-age group, in the late August 2017. The four winners will receive a $50 gift card or a gift basket from a local art or student supply store and a framed copy of their poster!

Questions: Please call Lorena at (831) 454-9455, ext. 280 or Tina at ext. 209.

New Document Drop Box in South County!

The Housing Authority is pleased to announce that we have installed a secure document drop at the Watsonville Main Library!

We hope this new drop box location will make it more convenient for many South County residents to submit documents to the Housing Authority.

The drop box is located on the first floor just past the reception desk. There is a sign on the wall above the document drop box that identifies it.

We will be picking up the contents of the box daily during the week, Monday through Friday.

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Nueva Caja para Dejar Documentos en el Sur del Condado

La Autoridad de Viviendas se complace en anunciar que hemos instalado una caja segura de documentos en la Biblioteca Principal de Watsonville!

Esperamos que esta caja para dejar documentos en su nueva ubicación sea más conveniente para los residentes del Sur del Condado para poder entregar documentos a la Autoridad de Viviendas.

La caja de documentos está situada en el primer piso de la biblioteca justo después de la recepción. Hay in letrero en la pared sobre la caja de documentos que lo identifica.

Estaremos recogiendo el contenido de la caja diariamente durante la semana.

Watsonville Public Library
275 Main Street, Suite 100
Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 768-3400

Mon – Thurs 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.   Fri 10 a.m. – 6 a.m.    Sat 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.    Sun Closed
Lun – Jue
10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
   Vier 10 a.m. – 6 a.m.   Sáb 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.    Dom Cerrado

Increase in Payment Standards

The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz has increased payment standards used for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, effective March 2, 2017. These increases will reduce the rent burden for many families in the voucher program, and will make it easier for voucher holders to find units in the private market they can afford with their voucher. Links to current Payment Standards can be found below.

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. At this time, the Housing Authority is not aware of any proposed changes that would impact immigrant families receiving assistance through the federal housing programs we administer. However, If changes are proposed that would reduce the benefits offered to our families, the Housing Authority will work actively with local, statewide, and national organizations in collective advocacy to support all of our program participants, including immigrant families.

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. En este momento, la Autoridad de Viviendas no conoce ningún cambio propuesto que pueda impactar a las familias inmigrantes recibiendo ayuda por medio de los programas federales que administramos. Sin embargo, si se proponen cambios que puedan reducir los beneficios ofrecidos a nuestras familias, la Autoridad de Viviendas trabajará activamente junto con las organizaciones locales, estatales y nacionales para advocar el apoyo a los participantes de nuestros programas, incluyendo a las familias inmigrantes.