Dear Neighbors,

Thank you for visiting this page to learn more about how we can collectively fight against the the housing affordability crisis.

The Empty Home Tax is a response to the countless stories of housing struggle within our community. Your friends who moved away so they could buy a home. The children who can’t afford to live down the block. The elders who cannot remain housed on a fixed income. We see you hustling the double shifts, the side gig and experiencing the constant worry.

We live in the most expensive small city in the world. But you didn’t need to hear that. You live it day in and day out.

The Empty Home Tax will create a pathway for the wealthy that purchase second homes, vacation rentals and investment properties to  support the community they are joining. This sustained local funding source will be solely dedicated to creating the affordable housing our community so desperately needs. We are often told that the affordable housing we need cannot be created because we do not have stable funding for it. The revenue generated by the Empty Homes Tax will play a huge part in removing that barrier to create more affordable housing.

We’ve put forward this initiative because we hear your stories of struggle. We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. It is clear that if we want this kind of change that can improve our daily lives, we have to be willing to fight for it. We’re going to fight for us to ensure Santa Cruz remains for all of us.

The Empty Home Tax Working Group