I was pleased to see at the Santa Barbara City Council meeting this past Tuesday, December 10, that the city is exploring options for workforce housing downtown. I was also pleased to read that the City Housing Authority is considering a proposal that would include prioritizing units for local nonprofit employees in a housing proposal at the Carrillo commuter lot.
At Hillside, a local nonprofit, we provide housing for 59 residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is very much the case that our employees are affected by the housing crisis, and we appreciate the city including nonprofit employees in its considerations for affordable housing.
While we support increased housing options for nonprofit employees, we also see the need firsthand for these same opportunities to be available for people living with disabilities.
We’ve come a long way in terms of supporting people with disabilities in our society. The Supreme Court and state and federal law have been clear that people with disabilities, Hillside residents, have a right to the same kinds of housing opportunities that all of us enjoy. Unfortunately, for people with disabilities and their families, housing options are very few and far between.
Increasing housing opportunities should be a priority and people living with disabilities should not be left out. At Hillside, we are considering how to best transition our residents from our current institutional setting, to an integrated residential community with state-of-the-art care.
We look forward to being actively involved in our community’s collective effort to provide affordable housing for all of these important populations.