Apartments to be Converted to Affordable Housing

Housing Authority to Own and Manage Isla Vista Complexes

Two 10-unit apartment buildings in Isla Vista have been secured for affordable housing. Ironically enough, the complexes are located just down the road from where low-income apartment dwellers were evicted in favor of a conversion to hike up prices last year.

The Santa Barbara County Redevelopment Agency voted last month to provide a $3.76 million loan from the county’s Housing Authority to purchase the Parkview Apartments at 6682 and 6688 Picasso Rd. The two properties were appraised in April 2007 at $1.88 million each and 6688 Picasso had been on the market since 2006 at a price of $2.1 million. The Housing Authority and Peikert Group Architects will be renovating the units. Upon completion of the renovations, the Housing Authority – which will own and manage the units – will rent them as low-income affordable apartments.

“We are very pleased to provide more affordable housing in Isla Vista,” Supervisor Brooks Firestone said in a statement. “We are continuing to see positive improvements in Isla Vista and there are more to come.”

Last fall, Conquest Student Housing, Inc. forced 55 families out of the Cedarwood Apartments at 6626 Picasso Rd. in order to create high-end student housing. The move created an uproar from UCSB students and Isla Vista residents, who held rallies and protests in support of the tenants. The actions didn’t save the resident’s spots in Cedarwood, but the circumstances did alert students and community members about laws related to landlords’ ability to remove tenants.

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