SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The 2017 Affordable Housing Week is in full swing in Santa Cruz. Wednesday marked one of the week's events addressing the affordable housing crisis.
The title of the event was simple "Housing 101" but the issues discussed are complicated. It's part of an on-going conversation happening not just in Santa Cruz but across the Central Coast.
Matt Huerta is with the non-profit Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, which hosted the event.
"Housing is such a complicated issued that we really wanted to break it down to some bite-sized ways of understanding what the situation was from an affordability standpoint," Huerta said.
Though the event focused on housing in Santa Cruz, it drew people from other parts of the Central Coast looking for tools to use in their communities.
"Being a single mom of four children when I first moved out here to the Monterey area was kind of a challenge," said Deana Mitchell, "I would like to be able to help other single parents as well so they can get affordable housing."
Santa Cruz Mayor Cynthia Chase moderated the panel of people representing different areas of the housing crisis.
"I think that it's important that people understand that this issue is incredibly complex," Chase said.
She says housing is the biggest problem Santa Cruz faces.
"This is, I would say, the number one issue in our community and frankly, not just in our community but in our region, in this state and happening nationally as well," Chase said.
Chase says she wants the Santa Cruz community to know that the local government is working towards a solution even though finding one has been a challenge.
"Our solutions are not simple either so we really need to be open minded to what I think is a package of solutions that will address a variety of these issues in our community," Chase said.
If you would like to reach out to the mayor and city council Chase says you can do so at the city's website. You can get there by clicking here.