SB Unified Partners with the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara

By SB Unified

Santa Barbara Unified and the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB) detailed plans being considered to develop housing for district teachers and staff.

Last spring, the District’s Board of Trustees requested staff look for potential opportunities to develop housing for educators on land already owned by the District.

A committee involving two board members, District Staff, District legal counsel, and Housing Authority leaders met starting in March 2023.

The committee reviewed income distribution for all households in Santa Barbara and how they relate to housing prices, surveyed District staff as to their housing needs, conducted a property-by-property review of all District-owned properties that are within the city limits of Santa Barbara, and provided a more in-depth look at the properties that hold the most promise for housing development.

The Parma School site at 915 E Montecito St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, was selected as the best prospect. The site contains 0.66 acres and is located close to shopping, transportation, and schools. A preliminary architectural study indicates that a 40 to 45-unit development is feasible.

“This presentation was a culmination of months of hard work and research by our staff and the staff at the Housing Authority of Santa Barbara. The project is just one piece of the puzzle of the larger need in our community for affordable housing for our community. I continue to urge my fellow leaders in both the public and private sectors to meet this moment as well with their time, resources, and land. We have a ways to go in this process but look forward to seeing it through to help our teachers and staff,” said Dr. Hilda Maldonado, Superintendent.

The project would be financed through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, and no District funds would be needed.

The Housing Authority would act as developer and property manager on the project.

“Our community has long struggled to find affordable housing in the city. In partnering with Santa Barbara Unified School District, we’re harnessing collective strengths to address this need. The Parma School site is a promising step. As we progress, we aim not just to house our educators, but to inspire innovative housing solutions elsewhere. Together, we’re building a brighter future for Santa Barbara,” said Rob Fredericks, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.

The Board of Trustees directed District Staff to work with the Housing Authority to develop a partnership to develop a project on a school site and continue to find other locations for future projects both inside and outside city limits.

To read the full Board Report, click here.


Written by SBUnified

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD). Learn more at

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  1. Just pay teachers more. This will be a morass.
    Who gets it? What happens when they have kids? What happens when they have a divorce? What happens if they’re fired? Do we have the wherewithall to manage the project? What happens if the teacher or their partner gets a big raise? Why not include housing for other private sector employees? How much will we pay for “oversight” (district chieftains) of this project rather than support to the actual teachers? … and on and on.
    Support teachers. Heck ya. Scrap this idea, and just pay them more!
    This is a fashionable idea that’s too complex for reality. Keep It Simple, Silly. jUSt Pay Them mOrE!!

    • Probably going to have to do both. But this will be managed by the Housing Authority, not the district – so there will be eligibility requirements, wait lists, etc.
      “Phase Four. The final stage is the lease-up and operation of the Project. Authority will
      manage the application process, lease-up, and operations. The Parties shall agree upon
      the tenant selection process to be used and how future tenant rollover will be addressed,
      including use of a waiting list. Ongoing professional management and maintenance of
      the Project will be a critical component to ensure that the development serves its
      intended use for years to come.”

  2. Affordable housing for 40 is something but it won’t do much for the mass exodus of teachers in the district because SBUSD pays 25% less than neighboring Goleta and Montecito. The raises that were given did not even begin to keep up with inflation and Dr. Maldonado also got the same raise as did all of admin. who all make generous salaries and cushy benefits. The last two years the district had millions in surplus yet teachers did not get paid more . And equally important students who were in secondary unable to read at grade level because our leadership choose a flawed curriculum never got the interventions they need. Only 540 got summer of learning.. and over half of our students can’t read proficiently and are unlikely to catch up without intensive intervention. No one even wants to acknowledge their needs. So much mediocrity and apathy . The whole system needs to focus on student and teacher needs and less on double dipping at the top and pricey new positions that do little for the students who are years behind and the teachers underpaid and unheard. How can we have millions left over when student needs are high and neglected . And teachers are leaving in droves. This is no way to run a district. 40 teachers renting in SB is something. But the elephant in the room is students are neglected, teachers are leaving and leadership has millions in surplus . It sure does not feel like every student, every chance , every day. And by the time the 40 units are ready it will be too late for many teachers and it already has been too late for thousands of students.

  3. Do you know how much teachers actually make in this town? A few years on the job and they are easily making 80k. Look up some that you know on Transparent California and see if you think they are earning their money…Those of us who experienced Covid remote learning know how little actual teaching goes on in a day.

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