Advantages to Housing Authority-owned apartments:

  • Affordable rent levels
  • Pets allowed within certain limits
  • Friendly, professional, bilingual staff
  • Self-sufficiency programs to encourage homeowner-ship

What kind of Housing Authority apartments are available?

The Housing Authority owns and manages about 400 apartments throughout Santa Cruz County through the following programs:

  • Low Income Public Housing – these apartment complexes are available to very low income families. Families pay about 30% of their income in rent, or have the option of paying a flat rent.
  • USDA Farmworker Housing – these apartments are available to farmworkers, or retired or disabled farmworkers, and their families. Families pay an affordable flat rent.
  • Merrill Road Apartments – these 15 apartments, located in Aptos, are available to low income families who pay an affordable flat rent.
  • Each program has its own waiting list. Some waiting lists are shorter than the wait that you might experience for a Housing Choice Voucher. Please see the Waiting List Q&A for more information.

How long would I have to wait for housing?

There is no way to estimate how long you might have to wait to rent a Housing Authority apartment. It all depends on when people move out of the apartments we have. Once you turn in a pre-application, you will be sent a letter confirming your placement on the waiting list.

It is very important that you send us a Change of Address form if you move. Also please use this form to notify us of e-mail address, home phone, cell phone, and other ways to reach you.

Can I apply for more than one program?

Yes. You are welcome to turn in a pre-application for any Housing Authority program you think you might be eligible for. If you accept an offer of an apartment owned by the Housing Authority, you may remain on the waiting list for a Housing Choice Voucher or another program.

How do you screen applicants for your apartments?

The Housing Authority conducts careful screening of applications for apartments we own and manage. We believe that we have excellent tenants thanks to our screening. We do not screen families when they turn in a pre-application. We begin our screening only when families reach the top of the waiting list. At that time, all adults will need to submit a valid ID and Social Security card. We will check the following:

  • Criminal background, including registered sex offender status
  • Previous landlord references
  • Credit check
  • Housekeeping inspection of your current home.
  • What are the advantages to renting from the Housing Authority?

The Housing Authority offers clean, well-maintained apartments and a good community of tenants. Some of the benefits of our apartments include:

  • A choice of locations throughout Santa Cruz County
  • Small, well-designed complexes that blend in with the neighborhood
  • Quick response to maintenance requests
  • Annual inspections to check for problems
  • Pets allowed within certain limits
  • Many apartments have porches or patios and are grouped around a central play area

Can I Request a Specific Apartment Complex?

The Housing Authority does not maintain separate waiting lists for each apartment complex. If you do not accept a unit that is offered to you, your name may be removed from our waiting list.

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