Even the UK’s Guardian has caught on to the fact that Santa Cruz is one pricey place to live.
“California is a monster. If you don’t keep up, you end up on the streets, and nobody cares,” said Kahn, a college graduate who previously worked two jobs in Santa Cruz. “This is a public health issue. It’s a catastrophe.”
While housing shortages and homeless epidemics have afflicted communities up and down the west coast, a major crisis has emerged in Santa Cruz, the liberal seaside city 80 miles south of San Francisco, known internationally for its surfing and laid-back boardwalk attractions.
With a swelling presence of Airbnb short-term rentals and university students, Santa Cruz has increasingly become unaffordable and inhospitable to many longtime low-income workers and middle-class families, and experts say the tech boom and housing crunch in nearby Silicon Valley is exacerbating the displacement.