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Budget Cuts Hits Housing Mediation Hard

Task Force Unable to Supervise as Many Tenant-Landlord Negotiations


Santa Barbara Rental Housing Mediation Task Force has seen a dramatic reduction in services rendered since budget cuts at Santa Barbara City Hall trimmed its staff a year ago. The task force was started to provide landlords and tenants a non-litigious way to hammer out differences, but over the past five years the number of actual mediations performed by this body has been cut in half. Likewise, the number of informational calls has dropped from 2,500 to 1,775 over the same period. And some calls have simply gone unanswered: 63 last June, 90 in July, and 41 - after a part-time assistant was hired to alleviate the demand - in August. Members of the City Council mulled these statistics over as well ways to increase funding for the Task Force.

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