Financial, Rent, and Energy Assistance

Central Coast Energy Services
P.O. Box 2707, Watsonville, CA  95077
(831) 761-7689
Monday-Friday, 8-5

Central Coast Energy Services, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization which provides energy conservation, consumer education & advocacy, home improvement, utility assistance, job training, and other services to people in need. They have four Energy Assistance Programs: The The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), The Weatherization Program,  The PG&E California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE), and  the Water Demand Reduction Program. See below for application materals (ALL MUST BE SUBMITTED BY MAIL). See website or call for more details.

  • To access the HEAP application and directions, Click HERE.
  • To Access the Weatherization directions click HERE. For the application, click HERE.
  • For the The PG&E California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) application and directions, click HERE.
  • For the Water Demand Reduction Porgram application, click HERE, for application directions, click HERE.

Community Action Board (CAB) Emergency Housing Assistance Program
406 Main Street, Suite 207, Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 763-2147
501 Soquel Ave # E Santa Cruz, CA 95062-2322
(831) 457-1741

Community Action Board’s (CAB) Emergency Housing Assistance Program provides short term rental assistance in cases where a tenant faces eviction due to lack of rent payment as a result of one-time cash-flow problems. Low income families are vulnerable to eviction when experiencing periodic economic hardships such as a car break down, a reduction in work hours, a short term medical condition, or an illness in the family. CAB provides a household rental assistance for about one and a half months upon proof of a landlord’s impending eviction. See Website or call for more information.

Families in Transition Program
210 High Street, Room 103, Santa Cruz, CA
(831) 728-9791

Families in Transition provides supportive services to families that have become homeless or are on the verge of homelessness. One key aspect of the program is rent subsidy. While enrolled in the program, families are assisted in renting permanent housing from private landlords on the open market, providing each family with a time limited rent subsidy for 6 to 18 months. The subsidy amounts decrease as the family reduces its debt and increases its earning power, until it is discontinued and the family assumes full responsibility for 100% of their rent. The FIT program also provides participants with comprehensive case management and full supportive services in an effort to obtain self sufficiency.

General Assistance Program
(from Santa Cruz Human Services Department)
(831) 454-4165

General Assistance is a County funded loan program for unemployed adults not entitled to unemployment or other benefits and for disabled adults not currently receiving other benefits. Call for more details.

Santa Cruz Community Credit Union
Community Development Programs
Contact Sheila Schat, | (831) 460-2342

At the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, we care about contributing to lasting social and economic justice. We accomplish this through our work in community development programs in child care, financial education, the Individual Development Account matched savings program, free tax assistance, and microenterprise lending. For information on each of their programs, use the links below.

  • Earned Income Tax Credit Project: Special tax benefit for working people who earn low to moderate incomes. For more information, call the EITC hotline at (831) 460-2347.
  • Individual Development Account Program: Asset building and savings incentive model for low-income individuals and families.
  • Childcare Revolving Loan Fund: Low-interest, short-term loans available to child care providers.
  • Childcare Ventures: Business management training, facilities development technical assistance, appropriate financing products, and land use and real estate assistance for child care programs.
  • Community Partnership Lending Program: The Community Partnership Loan Program is a way for the SCCCU to collaborate with community-based organizations to provide loans to their clients who might not otherwise be able to qualify for a loan.

For more resources on education and asset building programs, click here.

Santa Cruz Housing Authority Rental Assistance
2931 Mission St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5709

The Housing Authority offers a variety of rental assistance programs for low income households in Santa Cruz and San Benito County. For a quick overview of the Housing Authority’s rental programs, read the Housing Programs Q&A

Security Deposit / Last Month’s Rent Guarantee Program
2931 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-54709
(831) 454-9455

This program is designed to assist low-income households in our community who can afford to pay monthly rent but do not have sufficient funds to pay the security deposit and last month’s rent typically required by landlords. The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz administers this program for the County.

Other Resources

County of Santa Cruz Redevelopment Organization:

Local Government Housing Programs:

(Please see Housing Authority of Santa Cruz‘s Main page for more links)

**Some information including mission statements and program details taken from providers’ websites**

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