Welcome to the City of Scotts Valley "Housing" page. Developing and carrying-out the City’s / Redevelopment Agency’s housing policies and goals is one of the responsibilities of the Planning Department.
Affordable Housing Programs
The City offers programs to help eligible residents obtain or maintain safe and decent housing located within the City limits. The programs are First Time Homebuyer/Silent Second Mortgage, Security Deposit, Mortgage Credit Certificates, and Density Bonus. These programs are funded the Redevelopment Agency’s housing funds. The City contracts with the Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County to administer these programs. For more information on resources through the Housing Authority, please see their website. For more details see the Affordable Housing Action Plan Brochure (June 2020)
If you are interested in the City’s programs, please see the Affordable Housing Brochure
The Housing Element is one of eight chapters in the City’s General Plan, which gives a general direction of how the City would like to grow and provide services to residents and businesses. The Housing Element lists the City’s housing policies and goals. Every eight years, the state requires cities and counties to update their Housing Elements. In 2015, the City is updating the Housing Element.
Types of Affordable Housing
For Sale Units (Inclusionary Units): When the City approves private developments of 7 or more housing units, the developer must build 15% of affordable housing units on or off the project site. This type of required housing is called inclusionary units, which have restricted equity accrual, resale price, and other limitations. The "Affordable Housing Action Plan" brochure lists the inclusionary units being built, the income-level of the units, and the developer’s contact information. For more details, see the Affordable Housing Action Plan Brochure - June 2020
Rental Units: The "Affordable Housing Action Plan" brochure lists the contact information of apartment complexes that offer affordable units.
Qualifying for Affordable Housing
Before contacting a developer or apartment manager about available housing, see where you are in the income limits and City’s preference criteria.
There are four income categories of affordable housing: extremely low, very low, low, and moderate. These four categories correspond to a percentage of the mid-point income in Santa Cruz County. Every year, the state issues the updated income limits based on household size and the income-levels. See income limits in the Affordable Housing Action Plan brochure. For more details, see the /DocumentCenter/View/1798/Affordable-Housing-Brochure-rev1
City’s Preference Criteria
The City has adopted a system to make sure that affordable housing is given to residents living and working in the City limits, as a priority. See where you qualify in the Affordable Housing Action Plan brochure.
Second Dwelling Units & Guesthouses
To promote other types of housing, secondary dwelling units ("granny units") and guesthouses can be built on lots that are zoned for single-family residential (e.g. R-1-10 through R-MT-5). Secondary Dwelling Units are limited to 800 square feet and have a kitchen, while guesthouses can be 600 square feet and do not have a kitchen. Both of these units require a building permit from the City. For the requirements, please see Chapter 17.41 of the City’s Municipal Code.