With two new property owners in two years, tenants at 55 Ocean View Avenue are now either being forced out or looking at their fourth rent increase in that same time span.
Paul Wellman

Median rents for a studio along the South Coast went up from $1,495 a month as of last April to $1,553 a month as of this April. Going back five years, the price was $1,150. For five years prior to that, it was $1,020. These numbers were compiled by housing specialists with the City of Santa Barbara who culled housing ads to determine contemporary rental levels. For one-bedroom apartments, rents went from $1,750 to $2,253; for two bedrooms, they jumped from $2,550 to $2,701. For three- and four-unit rentals, however, the city survey found rents actually went down slightly.

Federal guidelines indicate that households should spend no more than one-third of income on housing. With this in mind, the City Hall survey concluded it would take an income of $62,125 to “afford” a studio, $90,125 for a one-bedroom, and $108,050 for a two-bedroom unit. The median income for people living in Santa Barbara is $51,720. A full-time worker earning minimum wage makes $22,880 per year.


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