County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway title=
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway
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Source: County of Santa Barbara

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! To learn more information about how the County is addressing the housing crisis through the Housing Element Update, watch our videos!

Take a Survey

Please take this survey to provide feedback to the County regarding two projects: the 2023-2031 Housing Element Update and the Environmental Justice Element (EJE). Your input will help the County identify the community’s housing needs and identify solutions for a healthier, more equitable community for all residents.
Please complete the survey in English or Spanish by June 15th. 

For More Information

The County is preparing its first-ever EJE and is also updating its Housing Element. Both elements are part of the Santa Barbara County Comprehensive Plan. The Housing Element will contain policies and programs to increase housing development within unincorporated areas of the county. It will also plan for housing for everyone in our county, including seniors, families, and workers. Accordingly, the Housing Element will allow all types of housing, including houses, apartments, and farm labor housing.

EJ means that people of all races, cultures, and incomes are treated with equity in government laws and programs. In other words, EJ affirms that everyone has the right to a healthy environment, equitable access to decision-making processes, and protection from environmental and health hazards. The EJE will identify the needs within EJ communities and contain new policies or update existing policies to prioritize the needs of the EJ communities.

If you’d like additional information on either project or to sign up for future project notifications, please visit the links below.

Housing Element Update information:  
EJE information:
To sign up for project notifications:

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Chip of SB May 11, 2022 11:36 AM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

Government intervention generally achieves the opposite of its stated intention. If the county government is going to intervene in the economy with the stated intention of making housing more affordable, you can count on housing becoming less affordable. We really have two choices. We can continue to maintain the greater Santa Barbara area as an elite and exclusive enclave for the wealthy through extremely restrictive policies that limit new housing construction. Alternatively, we can reduce restrictions and allow the construction of new housing to meet demand. I think most residents would prefer to maintain the wealth and exclusivity of the status quo. Why don't we just embrace that concept instead of pretending we want to provide low cost housing for the masses? Perhaps we could provide a streamlined process to complete new high density housing projects in Lompoc and Santa Maria, while effectively freezing new construction in Santa Barbara, goleta, and carpinteria? This would provide ample low cost housing without infringing on the wealthy enclave of the Santa Barbara area.

pstarSR May 11, 2022 12:19 PM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

because you dont get preferential treatment just because your bank account is larger.

I breathe the same air as you, walk the same dirt roads as you. No on should be considered "unhoused" because they arent rich. I have lived here my entire life and am NOT rich, but have watched and been disgusted by the "steering" the rich do here.

how bout the rich realize they dont get to bully the system, in essence stealing from everyone they deem "lesser". The concept of "well its a nice place......." is great and all. but it was a nice place when I was born, It was a nice place when my parents bought their first home for 60k. it was nice then too.

there is nothing more disgusting in the world today than greed, even more so when housing is concerned. we have 2nd/3rd/4th houses here in this town. house people spend less than 3 months a year occupying. Then we have people struggling to pay rents that are SO outside the realm of possibility they are living in squalor.

It is NOT sustainable, what we gona have 10million dollar condos? 400million dollar homes? dont be stupid

a-1652302409 May 11, 2022 01:53 PM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

The population of California is shrinking, more housing continues to be built, and yet homelessness grows. It would be interesting to know how many homes are vacant at any one time (due to being second homes for wealthy folk, for example). How many homes are now acting as motels (vacation rentals) instead of regular housing? If we keep building more housing, but then take the other housing out of use, we won’t actually gain any regular living space.

yacht rocked May 11, 2022 02:35 PM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

This is interesting. Check out the 2nd link on this page, the E-1 Cities, Counties, and State Population....

Every City in SB County LOST population, but the County itself gained 4.5% population outside of the cities. California itself has lost quite a few people lately.

CoastWatch May 11, 2022 03:51 PM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

@ A-165####### Your quote of, "....and yet homelessness grows..." is so deceiving- Vagrancy / street living GROWs as drug addiction ever increases (Meth/fentanyl,etc) and is affecting our population to the point people lose everything and live on the streets... Time to face reality.

Thomas John May 11, 2022 06:41 PM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

Chip, the average household income in the city is $111,274 ( I'm not sure that it's accurate to paint the entire community as "the greater Santa Barbara area as an elite and exclusive enclave for the wealthy". Yes, that is part of the mix, especially the edhat mix, but I don't think a lot of families making 100K a year are elite or see themselves as wealthy.

fitz May 11, 2022 02:37 PM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

We are now learning the State used some faulty process to get these very high RHNA numbers. The state mandates are a result of heavy lobbying from the construction/real estate lobbies. Why is SB County rolling over unlike counties like Marin and LA County which are coming up with policies that will prevent overbuilding where resources are scarce. Such as water.!!!!!

Bird May 17, 2022 07:14 AM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

What are the references, please, to the “faulty processes” being used? RHNA is THE big issue facing our county and cities. 8,001 new housing units for SB City, nearly a third of the demands for the County, as a whole, almost 10% of our present population, is so wrong!

Why did our BOS not stand up against it? Basically unopposed, Gregg Hart will continue to knuckle under to State demands. The “consummate Democratic insider,” described this week's Montecito Journal, will continue to walk in lockstep with the other career politicians and the construction interests. …we can’t just keep saying, “it is what it is” and complain and do nothing! Or will we?

OGSB May 11, 2022 08:18 PM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

Building new housing doesn't help the problem. It just makes developers money and increases the government's revenue. People with money from elsewhere buy them, not the middle/lower income locals. So just more people here... I'm 4th gen SB and can't afford to buy a home here. Sucks, but it is what it is.

dukemunson May 12, 2022 06:33 AM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

It’s always going to be expensive to live here. We can try and make it less desirable, but that obviously isn’t really a viable option (though one might say our local leaders are doing just that).

navarretedelia May 12, 2022 09:39 AM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

Born and raised, UCSB graduate, have 2 B.A.'s ! Cost of living is too high in Santa Barbara, I work at UCSB make only $2600 a month to support my Daughter and I (single mom) I don't qualify for any help (make to much?!) $2600 - rent a room $1500 - food $300 - utilities/internet $100 - fuel $200- college loan $150 - bills $200= LEAVES ME WITH $50!!!$150
We need affordable housing for those who live and work here. I also care for my both parents who are retired Seniors so I can't move because they live here and I need to care for them.

CoastWatch May 12, 2022 10:12 AM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

@ NAVA Perhaps, having parents who have lived in SB, you will enventually inherit their property and get to pay their low property tax... Unless, your parents live in SB Housing Authority or other section 8 housing.... Most of the SB kids I know, got houses in Goleta , SB and Carp from family- Unfortunately, I was not so fortunate and had to live in Santa Maria for 10 years and keep "flipping up"... Maybe instead of 2 B.A.'s you could go to a trade school and make big money or work for the County/ City - Your story shows that College doesn't mean "financial success..."

DBD May 12, 2022 11:27 AM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

Prop 19 got rid of the ability to inherit at a lower property tax basis. It's value is reassessed upon inheritance. This is a new law from the last couple years. There are different levels depending if they make it their primary residence vs rent it out, but the days of keeping a $500-1000 property tax bill are over in CA.

bosco May 12, 2022 11:19 AM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

The only answer to high cost is more supply and/or some form of Government intervention. Both unpopular options with home owners.

It would be great to see some limits on international, retiree, and other investors from buying up local properties. Are there any cities in the nation that have done this? This problem is not unique to SB. When the Los Carneros development was built a few years ago, I know for a fact that multiple single family homes were bought up by Chinese investors. There has also been a large influx of people from other parts of the country working remotely. Some will stay and integrate into the community, but others will move back keeping their new home as a vacation property.

Unfortunately, home sellers are also to blame. Sellers are being influenced by the Real Estate agents to go for the quick and easy sell. I have a coworker who is continually losing out to cash buyers with lower offers because sellers want the quick and easy sell which is often not a family with a mortgage and contingencies. People will always do what's in their best financial interest. But, when those incentives cause issues in the community, then the Government has to step in.

Bene May 12, 2022 05:12 PM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

Yep, agreed. We need to put restrictions on letting "retirees" buy a home here, as you say. Let those darn old people live on the streets. Only young people and young families should have the right to buy a home in Santa Barbara.

Lucky 777 May 12, 2022 11:24 AM
County of Santa Barbara Housing Element is Underway

"Please note: This survey applies to residents of unincorporated Santa Barbara County only." Well, Hell. If you live in Santa Barbara city or any other incorporated area the County policies definitely impact your quality of life.

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