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Homeless Housing Coming to Hollister?

Housing Authority Looks to Build 33 Units of Permanent Supportive Housing

Santa Barbara County Supervisors Gregg Hart. | Credit: Paul Wellman

Thirty-three units of housing for homeless individuals just entered a rather long project pipeline when the Board of Supervisors agreed, in theory, to sell a parcel on the 4500 block of Hollister Avenue to the County Housing Authority. The board’s assent was needed for the Housing Authority to apply for a No Place Like Home grant, which is due January 8, 2020. The grant is part of $2 billion in state monies secured by the passage of Prop. 2 last November to fund permanent supportive housing with low-barrier tenant selection, plus a commitment to provide mental-health services.

Supervisor Gregg Hart, in whose Noleta District 2 the housing falls, said the Housing Authority would be contacting neighbors and holding community meetings about the “critically needed piece of the social safety net.” The project — located on 0.57 acres next door to Fire Station 13 and across the street from the Santa Barbara Korean Presbyterian Church — will get a lot of scrutiny from everyone involved, he assured.

About half the housing is intended for homeless persons with serious mental illness, or those at risk of homelessness. The other half are for homeless individuals with incomes of 60 percent or less of the area median income. The project, dubbed Hollister Lofts, would hold a manager’s apartment and provide services from the county’s Behavioral Wellness staff. If the Housing Authority wins the grant and the wheels start to turn, tax credit applications to gain more funding, community outreach meetings, environmental considerations, and a zoning check would ensue, said George Chapjian, director of county Community Services, after the meeting. The total project cost is about $18 million, and the completion date is as yet unknown.

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