Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health and Human Services


Too many families in Santa Cruz County cannot afford housing. MidPen Housing’s mission is to provide safe, affordable housing of high quality to those in need and to establish stability and opportunity in the lives of its residents. This capstone project is a research endeavor that took advantage of a natural experiment to measure the extent by which a person’s health is affected by their living situation. By comparing families who gained access to affordable housing to families who did not through a randomized process. Our findings suggest that families living in affordable housing are overall healthier, happier, access more resources available to them, and have a more hopeful outlook on the future than families in market rate housing. It is recommended that the County provide and develop more affordable housing options for its residents.