Housing has been a hot topic in Santa Cruz as of late, and with good reason. Both the City of Santa Cruz and the County have released their draft housing elements, which outline how these entities will be accommodating the expected population increase over the next 7 years. Housing elements are a significant part of each local government’s General Plan, but are required to be updated more frequently and also certified by the State. They provide recommendations for increasing specific types of housing and are usually accompanied by zoning changes to facilitate new development. In addition to having to meet state requirements, both the City and County are considering additional policy changes, such as new types of zoning designations (an example being mixed use), increasing Floor Area Ratios (FAR), and new ways of streamlining the permitting process. The following articles provide a brief glimpse into what local leaders are considering, and both housing elements are linked below.