What Do You Need to Earn to Live in S.B.?

Thursday, March 21, 2013
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To afford a one-bedroom market rate rental unit, the average Santa Barbaran has to earn $22.88 an hour, $27.42 for a two-bedroom, and $36 for a three-bedroom, according to a study released by the National Low Income Housing Council. These numbers assume that renters spend no more than one-third of their income — long seen as the benchmark of economic balance and desirability — for housing. The organization released its nationwide study as part of a broader lobbying campaign to push the federal government for policies promoting greater housing affordability.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Multiply by 2,000 to get a rough annual amount.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 12:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Isn't gonna be anybody left to work in Disney SB.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 3:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

They can't say it's simply because it's "Paradise". The costs in the early '70's were reasonably comparable to other areas, then it skyrocketed.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 3:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

wow, like many, I'm paying well over that "one-third" mentioned in the article, and I'm certain many of us are in that boat, whether for apartment rent or a cheap house on the Westside. Yeah.
But the plight of younger wage earners is horrendous, and I do feel for the situation a lot of couples in their 20s and 30s face, perhaps with one or two children, poor public schools, pensions or 401(k)s being reduced.... blah blah. More government redistribution of sources is needed, another Prop 30...

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 6:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

That's just what we need. More meddling by the federal government. They'll probably end up making real estate more expensive by creating these onerous rules and regulations.

Botany (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 6:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

meant "More government redistribution REsources" ...don't want BC to chide my English again!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 6:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

so a young guy or gal needs to earn at least $55,000 per year to afford that two-bedroom apartment...? Not gonna happen.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 6:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

17% of all city housing is subsidized and/or price controlled. Get on the list and stop complaining. Notice they did not state the average rental price? Double up and save if this is a problem.

This is a misleading article except to generate more whining and more victimization mentality. Live where you might have to commute to save money. Just like everyone else in this country has *always* done.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 8:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The US Consumer Price Index has more than quadrupled since 1975. Does anyone have any actual data on a similar index for SB? How does SB stack up against Orange County? Santa Cruz?

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 9:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Commute to save money...only if by foot or bicycle. Gas prices have taken the "savings" out of commuting.

brimo7272 (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 9:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 9:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You reduce the cost of commute transportation by taking a commuter bus, like they do everywhere else.

No one is going to give you a cheap place to live close by, so start being more creative if you *choose* (and that is the key word) to live in a premium area, but only want to pay bargain basement prices.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 9:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Want to know who is at fault? Blame the Boomers. They are the generation of Americans who sold out all future generations to assure their own padded lifestyle. They and they alone inherited the greatest economy and country in the history of the world, and they and they alone have stolen the future from others. Their self-serving greed. Their incessant need to acquire and spent. The ME generation has destroyed America.

They are the only generation to leave their children worse off than they, the Boomers assured their own padded lifestyle by stealing from future generations and their parents alike. Think about that for a minute. All of our ills have occurred in the last 35 years +/-. All under the control and watch of the Boomers.

The sustainability of the economy, the country and the community rests on our ability to take back from the boomers what they have stolen from us... watch out old hippies, were coming! :-0

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 10:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Taking a bus would be a cost reducer. Where is "everywhere else"?

Guess I'm commute consists of traversing a tad over a mile to reach my office.

brimo7272 (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 10:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The American Dream.....

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 10:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

very good points iamsomeguy, and way back in the 80s Christopher Lasch wrote a book about the Narcissistic culture of our times, or try Robt. Hughs's CULTURE OF COMPLAINT. Now, try R. Skidelsky's HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH, and the crazed materialistic ways of the Hippies AND Corporate wolves merge...none of them really discuss what it means to "Live a Good Life"...

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 10:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Boomers did turn out to be the brattiest generation. Glad to know a more sober generation following them gets it. Consider your options next election and stop voting for more of the same.

Your generation blew it in 2008 and yet again in 2012. So much for your generation's political astuteness. Should have gone with the guy who knew how to make it on his own, instead of only knowing how to take other people's money.

Consider also each new US generation now shares middle class aspirations with a lot more people on this planet than the US Baby Boomers had to when they were the sole center of the post WWII universe. That is the far more sobering reality.

So stop blaming the Boomers for leaving you less well off than any other previous generation, because you are now competing with a few billion more people your age around the globe who really don't care what you get, because they are going to push you out of the way to get to the head of the line themselves.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

obviously voters made a fine decision in '08 and another one in '12, foo. Your narrow man Romney's famous comment about the 47% tells us all we need to know about a guy who 'knew how to make it'.... not a level playing field!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 1:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Blaming the parents is a time-honored tradition. One can look far earlier than the Boomers for the "chicken in every pot" mentality. But the Boomers, most of whom came of age in the 1960's, were indeed the "do it if it feels good" generation who in turn raised a generation that came of age in the 1980's with a, shall we say, less than impressive work ethic and a lot of naive belief in the benefit of big gov to provide for all.

Lots of responsiblity to go around, but so easy for some people to pick a single target. Less thinking required that way.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 3:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The average rent is 1,000 a month for a studio apt.
So you need to earn a minimum of 1,900 a month to afford one.
More if you want car payments and cell phone and cable and dental / medical insurance.

2,000 to 3,000 for a single person a month..

albert_redditt (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 6:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If you are looking to live solo and cheaply you can rent a room in someone's home or exchange services for reduced rent. You don't need cell or cable, really. Car payments, why? There is the bus or the very occasional rental car expense, if you really need one.

Your man Obama has taken care of your health/dental insurance needs - catastrophic plan with a HSA. Start thinking like a European if you want to live here and do it on minimum wage. They don't own cars, live in very small compact apartments, and meet with friends for entertainment.

This town has so many free opportunities once you get off your cell phone and cable dependencies. Try it for a few months and then write a great article about what you discovered in your own back yard and were able to save for your retirement at the same time.

The fast food places offer you health/dental packages so why is anyone complaining about not being able to live here?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 6:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

O Lord where do I start? $1000/month for a studio? Exactly where is this crumbling unit? A basement, attic, or garage? The rents quoted in the piece are correct! And punishingly "too damn high," as that African-American candidate said in 2012. And he wasn't talking about our gilded, golden coast.

geodel23 (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 7:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

But it has a view...

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 7:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

OMG, you can't live in a premium area at bargain basement prices. Who would have guessed?

Please explain where this sense of housing entitlement comes from? I must be missing something because I am tired of getting scolded for not making this happen for you.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 8:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

One thing you can earn: A degree, even a PhD, and still not make enough to live in Santa Barbara.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 21, 2013 at 8:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

thanks for the little lecture about dependencies, foo, but I've never had a cell phone, no TV or cable, my work requires this computer, & I ride my bike and occasionally the bus. Yes, DO start thinking like a European, and I agree that "They don't own cars, live in very small compact apartments, and meet with friends for entertainment." And yes, plenty of free stuff in this town: I use the library constantly, enjoy walking biking the streets... Oh, and Obama has not taken care of dental.
What's your point?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 3:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

(This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of use policy.)

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 11:15 a.m.

I once had a client whose only income was $300 from Social Security. She had Section 8 and only paid about $60 for rent. After paying her gas, electric, telephone, and basic cable she had a lot left. She got meals delivered through Mobile Meals free of charge and at the end of each month, she was able to save about $100. She would have qualified for many beneficial services if she hadn't saved $10,000. The point is that some are able to live in Santa Barbara very inexpensively.

buckwheat (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 3:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It is alleged a welfare recipient gets approximately $40,000 worth of goods and services each year when it is all added up.

Clausen, if you can't live in this town you are not trying hard enough. Doesn't matter what your Phd is in, now does it. Plenty of blue collar workers and even illiterate immigrants make it work all the time. Rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty could help.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
March 22, 2013 at 3:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Santa Barbara housing has always been expensive and in short supply; ask a grunt that returned from WWII.

My Father entertained a Butterfly Beach place in 1962 for $30K, for a moment. The same era you could buy a lot and build a home for half that price on Pierpont or Hollywood Beach, and no train. It’s really relative to location, location, location.

The biggest problem Santa Barbara faces today is decayed infrastructure and no money saved to replace it. The water/sewer system needs a major upgrade if you are going to make additional connections, no money in the bank; running Municipal Government on a Cash Basis is coming home to roost. Now the Police Station needs $54M, well if they had put away 1/50 each year starting in 1963 all would be good but they did not.

So expect Local Taxes and Utility Fees to continue to increase and younger people to be priced out of the market because Santa Barbara did not save for it’s infrastructure replacement, spent the money on current events, most of the additional monies will be spent on Pension Promises, and the infrastructure will continue to decay.


This is the problem Nationally except Cities and States cannot print money to pay for their stupidity.

This is a classic case of why Reserve Accounting is so important to healthy municipal government.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2013 at 9:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Yes, DO start thinking like a European,..." DD, do tell, just how do Europeans think?
Do you think they(sic) like the result of the unsustainable economic mess that the E.U. has foisted?
Do they like a crashing economy with no job? A decaying infrastructure?
Or are you referring to the failed dream of lifetime employment without having any personal output or productivity; sorta' socialism light and it too has gone down the tubes. Or are you referring to their increasing desire to own cars and get the hell off of public transit?

I'm not sure if you would like us to think like the gloriously successful economic and social models from Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal and soon Italy.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2013 at 5:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

ooops-Perhaps you meant to think like the single E.U. country that is holding up the rest of bunch, the Germans. But of course they brought in a ton of low cost labor but regulated the hell out em, and in their medical system you do not get rewarded if you are not productive, and if you think housing in Germany is cheap in nice areas that are near a workplace you have not been there recently or frequently. Oh yea, you'd better speak German at work even if you are from Turkey etc.
Maybe you meant the Polish? They're doing pretty well right now as an E.U. Light country.
Or perhaps your overt stereotyping has no basis in fact and you have no idea what you are writing about once again?

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2013 at 5:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks for the pleasant comment, Italians. Obviously, I was responding to foofighter's earlier comment, and certainly it's crazy to generalize about all of the EU. I appreciate your gracious correction.
Yeah, I was thinking of Germany somewhat, and I certainly understand how expensive housing costs are in the nicer places in Germany (e.g. Munich). Of course, you are stacking the deck and stereotyping yourself by cherry picking the examples of Cyprus (casino economy), Portugal, Spain, Greece and your own beloved Italy. Spain's case is quite different, and so is that of Cyprus.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2013 at 6:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

As it looks, it's cheaper to live in Santa Barbara County than to live in the DC Metro area which requires (based on the website) I have to make 3K more than in the Goleta area but those jobs have all but dried-up and with Raytheon cutting another 3K jobs by the end of the Month (March), it's NOT looking any better for those of us who the Federal Government trusts.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2013 at 8:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Cherry picking? . Please identify the paragons of sustainability that I forgot to mention other than Germany and some limited member countries of the E.U.
France is an economic power, but like Italy they refuse to come to grips with their own reality.
Further, the cost of living in all desirable areas in Europe is high. Even I was stunned last month during my trip to north east Italy and Croatia about the cost. Sure Croatia was cheap; until it stopped being a 3rd world mess, and problems are brewing there again as well...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2013 at 9:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Europe is proving to be the economic model to avoid. For those that point to Europe as the "civilized society", it is rapidly deteriorating and it's economic system unsustainable.

Botany (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2013 at 9:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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