Santa Cruz gentrification

Map Shows Creep of Gentrification in Santa Cruz

Live Oak and the lower Westside have become too expensive for working class families, new research shows.

A new UC Berkeley map of gentrification in Santa Cruz, with orange areas most severely impacted.

A report released last month from the Urban Displacement Project shows a startling trend of low-income families being priced out of entire neighborhoods.

UC Berkeley worked with the California Housing Partnership to create the Urban Displacement Project (UDP) and draft the study, which was released last month. It examines the far reaches of the greater Bay Area, from Watsonville to Sacramento.

With Affordable Housing Week kicking off on Saturday, Oct. 13, a look at a map from the UDP shows sobering levels of displacement across the county.

The map indicates two areas with advanced gentrification locally—in the lower Westside census tract, stretching from Lighthouse Field to Mission and Swift streets, and in the heart of Live Oak.

Nearly every swath surveyed was either too expensive for low-income families or is at risk of becoming that way.

Areas that were already higher-income to start with are showing especially high rates of displacement and exclusion—particularly in Scotts Valley, Prospect Heights and northern Live Oak.

News Editor at |

Jacob, the news editor for Good Times, is an award-winning journalist, whose news interests include housing, water, transportation, and county politics. A onetime connoisseur of dive bars and taquerias, he has evolved into an aspiring health food nut. Favorite yoga pose: shavasana.



  1. Steven McCarty

    October 17, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    For those of you concerned about the gentrification of Santa Cruz, it is important to understand that there is a correlation between cities with rent control and gentrification of neighborhoods. In fact, this study states that Oakland and San Francisco have the fastest rate of gentrification; both have rent control. There are numerous studies pointing to landlords selling their properties or converting them to condos to avoid the restrictions and regulations imposed as a result of rent control and just cause eviction ordinances. Santa Cruz is already seeing rentals sold as landlords anticipate the election in November. And with the real estate market as hot as it is and the prices as high as they are, many more landlords will sell their homes to the highest bidder, most likely a single family who can afford the cost. So when you consider Measure M on the November ballot, vote NO in order to avoid this unintended consequence.

  2. robyn marx

    October 12, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Thanks for censoring, over 24 hrs but somehow my comment is “still being moderated”. Amazingly enough it appears there are zero comments for this article, really don’t believe that I am only person who had something to say. Now we know that GT has sold out like everything else in this town.

  3. james

    October 12, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Maybe you could actually write an article that has some information . Like a description of what the map meant, how the study was done or something. You just made a headline statement without any real info except a picture of a map with no legend. Wow. Next time don’t even pick up a pencil if that’s all you are going to write. Sorry but I was interested in the subject and story but there was nothing there to read or gather

    • Robyn McIntyre

      October 12, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      The explanation about the map and the data is found at the link referenced in the beginning of the third paragraph.

  4. Cheatum Liespotter

    October 11, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    This is nothing but propaganda, and if anyone cannot see that, how stupid can you get? Yeah, right, Soquel and Old San Jose Road is a creeping mass of gentrification.

  5. Robyn Marks

    October 11, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    All us lower middle class & working poor should give up our Santa Cruz county jobs & move someplace affordable. Becoming obvious that we aren’t wanted as part of the community, only tolerated so someone will pour the coffee or serve up the tacos & burritos for the silicon valley yuppies who clog our roads with their commute.
    Guess I’m a dinosaur, can recall paying 100$ for a room & 400$ for a studio cabin in the beach flats. Even the 400$ a month I paid for a room 20 yrs ago would be a bargain today. Looking forward to collecting social security in a few years and moving north, that will open up a rodent infested 3 rm. cabin with no bathroom sink for someone willing to haul propane & water bottles along with firewood…

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