New Housing Study Points to Continued Housing Challenges on the South Coast

“Santa Barbara’s Changing Demographics and Housing Trends” highlights Santa Barbara’s aging population and loss of middle class

The study’s South Coast findings will be presented by the Forecast’s Director, Dr. Mark Schniepp, at a housing conference being organized by the Coalition (“Housing The Next Frontier – Strategies and Solutions”, June 1 from 8:00 – 2:30 pm at UCSB’s Loma Pelona Center).

Among the key findings for the South County:

 Since 1980, the gap between housing prices and median household income has widened dramatically on the South Coast, increasing much more here than across the state or nation.

 While house prices have declined since the mid-2000s, home affordability for middle-income households remains a significant challenge.

 The South Coast’s population is aging, increasingly consisting of people who are living longer and staying in their homes longer than the national average.

 The percentage of middle-age households in the South Coast has dramatically decreased in the last decade, resulting in the loss of a key demographic for community health and vitality.

Lisa Plowman, Coastal Housing Coalition Board President, said “The demographic data in the study tells us that there is clear cause for concern about the continued erosion of the balance and diversity in our community. The trends mapped in the study indicate that the problem will get worse in the years and decades to come. Now is the time for a community-wide conversation about how best to meet the housing needs of local workers and their families.”

The Housing Conference is expected to bring more than 100 decision makers, housing providers, business leaders, architects, planners, housing advocates and community members together to discuss specific strategies and potential solutions.


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