by Martha Sadler

As El Carrillo Studios (pictured) approaches its September opening, the city Housing Authority is asking the community for donations to accessorize the apartments for the once homeless and near homeless, currently under construction at 315 West Carrillo Street. The Housing Authority is touting the $10 million project, designed by architects Brian Cearnal and Joseph Andrulaitis, as a prototype of very attractive, very high-density housing. Its 61 units bring the county’s number of permanent beds for the formerly homeless up 16 percent to 436. Clustered on just half an acre — which translates to a density of 122 units per acre — the complex is replete with sculptured stucco and the full range of Spanish-style detailing required in the downtown historical district, and behind those C-curve adobe tiles lurks a rooftop photovoltaic system that will provide an estimated 20 percent or more of the complex’s energy needs. At 235 square feet, each apartment is larger than a dorm room but much smaller than the 400-square-foot minimum mandated by the city’s zoning laws; each will be outfitted with a microwave and an under-the-counter refrigerator — no stovetop or oven except in the community kitchen. The city waived the size minimum as well as the usual parking space requirements. The Work Training Program will organize resident services including vocational and financial counseling, mental health treatment, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. The Housing Authority is asking organizations or individuals to adopt a studio or community room for $200, to provide such accoutrements as towels, dishes, and bedding. Send tax-deductible donations to the attention of Rob Pearson, Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, 808 Laguna St., S.B., CA 93101.

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