City Council Talks Revised Housing Element Goals

Santa Barbara Tackles Lack of Affordable Housing, How to Meet State Allocation of 8,001 Units by 2031

Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

Santa Barbara City Council unanimously moved forward on Tuesday with eight drafted Housing Element Goals, the city’s road map to how it will meet the state allocation of 8,001 units by 2031.

The city has until July to narrow down a public draft, but there are still many questions to be answered and details to be worked out. Among those questions: Which measures would best help bridge the gap between new housing being built for “above moderate”-income households and affordable housing? And how would the city meet the newly added goal of developing a “permanent source of local funding” for deed-restricted affordable housing?

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Some councilmembers floated the idea that an ad hoc committee, or even the new Housing Crisis Task Force, should be in discussion for providing these answers. At the very least, the council wanted to be involved in the talks for the public draft.

“I really don’t want to come to July and see a public draft and not have been part of the conversation,” Councilmember Kristen Sneddon said. “I think it’s gonna be problematic to suddenly see a public draft that we haven’t been part of building when so much of it is our policies for the next 10 years.”

The council voted to adopt the revised goals with added language to prioritize affordable housing “by use of deed restrictions and other measures over other types of development.”

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