City Funds High-Density Rentals for Poor

Artisan Court and Transition House Building Housing

The City Council approved $3.2 million in loans to help get a 56-unit affordable housing project, proposed by the City Housing Authority, off the drawing boards and onto the 400 block of East Cota Street. Dubbed “Artisan Court,” the project will target low-income downtown workers, adults just getting out of foster care, and others at risk of becoming homeless. The proposed units are small, 406 square feet, and will be rented out at considerably-below-market rates. Normally, the existing zoning would permit the development of only 24 units. The increased density was allowed because it will provide affordable housing. The city monies are coming from the Santa Barbara Redevelopment Agency, not the general fund. Likewise, the council approved a $680,000 loan enabling Transition House to tear down the former Mom’s Restaurant building at 421 East Cota and rebuild it as a mixed-use development with 16 rental units, a day care center, and office space. The rentals would be made available to homeless families making their way from the streets to permanent housing.

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