Publication Date

Spring 2020

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Public Administration

First Advisor

Frances Edwards


Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) Program Standards and Policies, ADU Local and State Laws, the City and County of Santa Cruz, California Housing Crisis, Affordable Housing


The State of California is currently in a housing crisis, which many researchers believe stems from a foundational issue with the supply and demand for housing (Tanner, Garcia, Buhayar, 2019). More specifically, California has seen a steady population increase for several decades; however, the growing demand for housing has not kept up with supply. The influx of new people coming to California, and birth rates exceeding death rates, have been defining factors in the growing demand for housing (Public Policy Institute of California, 2018). As high paying jobs are created and bring in top wage earners, and the cost of living increases, affordable housing is viewed as the most in-demand form of housing across the state (Department of Housing and Community Development, 2018). This research is focused on one type of affordable housing that has recently received widespread support from within the California state-level government: accessory dwelling units (ADUs). One community with a very successful ADU program, with a history of more than 25 years, is the City of Santa Cruz. What guidance can be gained from the City of Santa Cruz about strategies that can be used to successfully encourage the development of ADUs in other California cities and counties?