New Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground

Thursday, January 31, 2013
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Ground was recently broken on the Canon Perdido Affordable Homes project at 822 and 824 East Canon Perdido Street. Developed by Habitat for Humanity of South Santa Barbara County, the project will include 12 units “that will provide a home-ownership opportunity for families who earn between 40 and 80 percent of the area median income,” according to a statement from the City of Santa Barbara, which provided Habitat for Humanity the funding to buy the property and to cover a portion of the construction costs.


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Yet again, another project that falsely equates "affordable" with "low income." Affordable is supposed to mean that anyone with at least a median income should be able to afford a median turn-key house. What about people who make between 80% and 200% of the median income.

"In South Santa Barbara County, Inflation-adjusted median income has declined to 1990 levels, but home prices are much higher than in 1990" (

One source says SB's median income is about $56,000. Twice the median income comes to $112,000. At a 38% loan to income ratio, housing expenses (PITI, utilities, repairs) can come to no more than about $3500 per month. Anyone who makes less than TWICE the median income (an income greater than about 85% of all Americans) will have great difficulty finding an affordable turn-key house of typical configuration (3/2, front and back yard, garage).

So people who make less than 80% of the median income have a chance, and people who make more than 200% can buy a house, but the people in the middle, arguably most of the residents, are stuck with dealing with crummy rentals and terrible landlords.

lucas (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 9:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Meanwhile, the FHA and the federal mortgage agencies are rationing their inventory of foreclosures to keep prices high.

native2sb (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 10:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

thanks for the lucid interpretation, lucas. It certainly seems odd that those under the 80% median figure and those over the 200% figure have better chances than those between 80% and 200%, which is of course most of us.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 11:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It makes you want to work less so the government can give you more. That's our entitlement society. The Democratic party has to buy it's constituencies somewhere.

Botany (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 12:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany, you always say this. It's unfair to write "entitlement society" -- I've been paying into Soc. Security for over 40 years...why write "entitlement" in an implied snide way? You do sound reminiscent of Romney's insult to "the 47%".

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 12:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Not that social security doesn't need dramatic reform, that's not what this article is about. The government is providing handouts to those with low incomes, while those with a little more productivety or hard work get nothing. The problem is that government is providing an incentive to do less, when it should be incentivizing productivity. What did these people pay into to deserve this benefit while those that worked harder and paid more taxes get shut out?

Botany (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

One other note.....

Wealth redistribution seems to bother people more when they are the redistributor instead of the redistributee.

Botany (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 1:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The organization responsible is Habitat for Humanity, not any local, state or fed gov agency..!
Unless they're violating some rule of an economic caste system in Santa Barbara, we should all be cheering their efforts.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 2:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Did you read the part about who provided the funding to buy the property and foot part of the construction costs?

It was you and me.

Botany (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 3:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I stand corrected.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 31, 2013 at 4:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Not a good location to add more cars, traffic and dirty air, next to the High School. The poorer areas always get the brunt of these government projects. Perhaps they know the poor won't advocate as much for their neighborhoods.

Georgy (anonymous profile)
February 1, 2013 at 3:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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