Santa Barbara City Housing Element Receives Finding of “Substantial Compliance”

Construction of the Casas Las Granadas housing project completed in December 2007 at 21 E. Anapamu Street. (courtesy photo)

During the November 16th Planning Commission hearing, the City of Santa Barbara’s Draft 2023-2031 Housing Element received a finding of “substantial compliance” with State Housing Element Law from the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend adoption of the 2023–2031 Housing Element with specific recommendations.

Staff worked closely with HCD’s Senior Program Manager Paul McDougall over the summer as reflected in the comment letter “HCD appreciates the hard work, collaboration and dedication the housing element team provided in the review and update of the housing element. HCD particularly applauds Rosie Dyste, Daniel Gullett, Jillian Ferguson and Adam Nares.” HCD further encourages the City to continue to prioritize programs related to accommodating the regional housing need allocation (RHNA), addressing governmental constraints, assisting in the development and conservation of housing for lower-income and special needs households, and affirmatively furthering fair housing.

“I am extremely proud of our staff. Changes to the state’s process and requirements for this Housing Element Update cycle proved challenging to navigate at times. Our staff team did extensive public outreach, and worked with local housing experts and our counterparts at the state to ensure our proposed policies and programs can address the housing needs of our entire community,” said Community Development Director Elias Isaacson.

Next steps in the process include an adoption hearing at City Council on December 12th, followed by submittal of the adopted 2023-2031 Housing Element to HCD for formal certification. The City looks forward to implementing the programs outlined in the Housing Element over the next eight years.

The Housing Element of the City’s General Plan identifies Santa Barbara’s housing needs and establishes goals, policies, and actions to further the City’s commitment to the production of affordable housing and sound community planning. To learn more, visit the City’s Housing Element Update.

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