What Does Home Mean to You?
What does it mean to feel “at home” during an affordable housing crisis? How does this crisis—leading to extreme rent burdens, precarious living situations, widespread displacement, and homelessness—impact people’s sense of belonging and community? And how are these personal impacts tied to broader social and ecological impacts—for instance, as families sacrifice basic needs to make the rent and as unaffordable housing drives sprawling, unsustainable urban development?
No Place Like Home is a community-initiated, student-engaged research project based at UC Santa Cruz that is focused on answering these questions. Through surveys, interviews, audio documentaries, mapping, and creative non-fiction projects, we seek to understand the experience and impacts of the housing affordability crisis in Santa Cruz County and our wider region.
This site documents the first phase of our research, a survey of the Beach Flats community of Santa Cruz, from 2016, and also compiles research on efforts to protect tenants and expand access to affordable housing in our region and nationally. An expanded site, covering five survey sites in Santa Cruz, and using data visualization and digital stories to explore the results, will launch on October 19, 2017 in conjunction with an Affordable Housing Week event at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium dedicated to our project. By sharing these voices, visions, and research, we hope to inform and inspire broader efforts to address the crisis.