Santa Barbara County won the dubious distinction of being the
nation’s eighth least affordable county for potential homebuyers.
San Luis Obispo came in 10th, and the Los Angeles/Long Beach area
took top “honors.” The National Association of Homebuilders, in its
quarterly survey of housing affordability, concluded that
countywide only 5.3 percent of the homes on the market were
affordable to people earning the median income; nationwide, that
percentage is 40.6. If the South Coast – where million-dollar
fixer-uppers have become routine – had been considered alone, the
affordability rate would have been far lower.

Beginning in mid-September, 61 of Santa Barbara’s homeless or
near-homeless will have a permanent room of their own in El
Carrillo Studios, which officially opens August 31. The
235-square-foot studios are provided by the Housing Authority of
the City of Santa Barbara, while Work Training Programs, Inc. will
provide on-site supportive services – including vocational
counseling – to residents. The studios, located on a half acre at
315 West Carrillo Street, are expected to fill within a month with
people referred by social workers and homeless shelters.

Developer Mark Lee received a pat on the back from the City of
Santa Barbara’s Planning Commission, whose members expressed
enthusiasm for a bigger and denser project along Arroyo Burro Creek
than was previously approved by the City Council. The commissioners
also broke with the council over where to build the entrance to the
controversial Veronica Springs project, preferring a new bridge
over the creek rather than an extension of Alan Road, which Alan
Road residents vehemently opposed.

A local nonprofit organization plans to provide housing for
Carpinteria’s agricultural workers on farmlands north of Highway
101. People’s Self-Help Housing intends to finance 80 below-market
apartments by selling 30 market-rate condominiums. The apartments
will replace 82 campsites on about 2.5 acres at the Carpinteria
Camper Park.


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