It’s just pathetic and infuriating to read the whining from local housing and elected officials about having to meet the city and county’s housing obligations (“Santa Barbara’s Housing Element: A Delicate Balance”). Our housing crisis has been in the making for decades because of local intransigence and flat-out resistance to new housing. Meanwhile, as a result, thousands of unsheltered people here and across California are suffering in our streets and on our sidewalks. And in a state where high housing costs are a primary driver of our nation-leading poverty rate, many more among our most economically vulnerable are paying up to 60 percent of their income on housing and struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
We need more housing at all income levels, even luxury housing, which takes demand pressure off existing affordable housing stock. It’s also unfortunate the county Housing Element’s six stated goals make no mention of reducing carbon emissions and automobile trips, otherwise a remote location like Glen Annie Golf Club would be a non-starter.
City and county officials need to stop making excuses, quit their whining, roll up their sleeves and get to work. This isn’t some paper exercise, it’s people’s lives. And it’s long overdue.