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 (pictured) 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.