New Affordable Housing Community in Santa Cruz County Breaks Ground

Groundbreaking ceremony at 1500 Capitola Road Housing, a development of MidPen Housing
May 19, 2022

On Wednesday, May 11, MidPen Housing broke ground on 1500 Capitola Road Housing, 57 affordable apartments for families and individuals with supportive housing needs, which completes the first mixed-use, affordable housing and healthcare campus in Santa Cruz County. 

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1500 Capitola Road Housing will address housing needs for Live Oak families and supportive housing households, including formerly homeless residents. The groundbreaking is part of Housing Santa Cruz County’s Affordable Housing Month. MidPen worked closely with Santa Cruz County and local nonprofit organizations Dientes Community Dental Care and Santa Cruz Community Health to ensure access to health and housing in one location.

A new 20,000 square foot Community Health Center and 11-chair dental clinic buildings are set to open in September, and will provide medical, behavioral health, and specialty care — with a focus on pediatrics to those at the lowest income levels. The clinics together will be able to serve over 12,000 new patients, including MidPen residents, who will have access to low-cost medical and dental care, literally right outside their door. 

“Our partnership was built upon the common understanding that access to both high-quality healthcare services and permanent housing – two social determinants of health – can increase quality of life by improving overall wellness,” said Matt Franklin, President and CEO of MidPen Housing “We feel strongly that extremely low-income workers and their families are critical to the health and future of our communities. By providing stable, permanent housing aligned with intensive case management, we can improve health outcomes for our community’s most vulnerable residents, and we can reduce reliance on costly emergency services.”

“The partnership between Dientes, Santa Cruz Community Health, and MidPen has been critical to the successful development of this innovative healthcare and housing campus,” said Laura Marcus, Chief Executive Officer at Dientes Community Dental Care. “We are committed to improved access to quality care for those who need it most, and residents of 1500 Capitola Road Housing and Live Oak neighbors will have these healthcare opportunities in their community.”

An additional collaboration with the County Health Services Agency and Central California Alliance for Health has allowed MidPen to provide 15 housing units to people experiencing homelessness who also have complex mental and physical health conditions.

“During the community outreach meetings we conducted, we heard repeatedly that people wanted this to be a town center, a community center where people can gather. And you can’t have community without housing,” said Manu Koenig, Santa Cruz County Supervisor. “I’m particularly excited that more than half of these units will be two and three-bedroom homes. They will truly be for families, whether they are teachers at the Live Oak school district, or the families with children who attend those schools.”

Financing for the development was provided through both public and private sources including the County of Santa Cruz, the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, Wells Fargo, the California Community Reinvestment Corporation, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Central California Alliance for Health, and the Central Coast Community Energy.