The article on the dismal rental housing market was really informative and well-written. Santa Barbara city tries to have “affordable” housing, but when I recently applied for one of the lotteries to purchase a unit, I found out that money in my retirement fund is counted in my annual income, pushing me over the limit for one of the qualifying units in the new Alma del Pueblo development (as a teacher, I have already accrued $24,000 that I will never touch for at least 30 more years). The parameters they set to live there are not realistic and certainly not “affordable,” with HOA fees as high as $800 and restrictions on how much you can put down.
I was also evicted from my rental after only two months of living there (in the cold winter), because the owner wanted to rent it as a vacation rental for double the price when summer drew near.
This is an issue that needs way more of a public outreach campaign. If 60 percent of Santa Barbarans are renters, then surely we could get enough signatures to put a rent control referendum on the ballot. Let us renters use our majority to pass legislation that would end this nightmare scene. Why aren’t more people taking to the streets and hounding their City Council reps?