Coastal Housing encourages local agencies to approve well-designed, appropriately-located housing projects that meet the housing needs of our local workers. Endorsement by our Project Review Committee is one of the ways we advocate for the creation of appropriate work force housing.
The Coalition encourages both ownership housing and rental housing, due to the shortage of housing existing in our community.
For projects that meet the general criteria set forth by Coastal Housing Coalition and which otherwise meet the approval of the Project Evaluation Committee, the Coastal Housing Coalition will consider publicly endorsing new residential development before appropriate public bodies. This may take the form of a letter of support, or where it is believed that the development proposal meets the goals of Coastal Housing Coalition in an outstanding manner, public appearances by the Coastal Housing Coalition members or staff will be provided.
Cottage Health Systems (CHS) proposes to remove the former hospital buildings and provide 115 residences. The current plan is to offer eighty-one (70%) of these residences, for sale exclusively to Cottage Health System employees, at prices affordable to households with annual incomes between 100% – 200% of the area median income, about $75,000 to $125,000 for a family of four. It is CHS’s intent to offer to sell the remaining residences at below market rate to other healthcare employees in the community. CHS will make this determination once they have a better estimate of the approval process and costs involved.
Coastal Housing believes this project is significant for a number of reasons. First, it will be one of the few examples on the South Coast where a major employer provides housing for its employees. We realize that while providing employee housing is not within reach of most employers, it is significant when an employer does take action to provide homes for their workforce.
Building workforce housing in an already developed neighborhood, with existing infrastructure – roads, sewer, schools, parks, public transportation – combined with close proximity to the employer, embraces the principles of smart growth planning.
Such in-fill development is supported by Coastal Housing. However, at a recent City Planning Commission conceptual review hearing, we did request that the City consider allowing a reduced parking standard for this site, so that Cottage Health Systems could add more residences.
This will be a 100 percent affordable rental project consisting of 50 residences and mixed use development. Twenty-five of the residences will be allocated to Mental Health Association special needs clients in the very low income category and the remainder of the rental residences will be allocated to downtown Santa Barbara employees in the moderate income category (about $50,000 for a family of four).
These two groups, that have historically been priced out of the local housing market, will now have the opportunity to live, work and be a part of the community.
Coastal Housing believes that this is a good example of a mixed-use project. In addition to the rental housing, it will also include space for: the MHA Fellowship Club; MHA offices; leased office space for the City and non-profit agencies; parking for MHA functions and all residences; as well as parking for City offices located across the street.
Our endorsement for this project was given due to the diversity of creative solutions resulting in a mixed-use, in-fill development designed for an urban setting. The City of Santa Barbara and MHA, came together to mutually address their challenges: workforce and special needs housing, office space and City employee parking.
Projects Coastal Housing has endorsed
City of Santa Barbara
City of Goleta
Affordable: units affordable to individuals or families earning 120% of area median income or below
Attainable: units affordable to individuals or families earning 121% – 200% of area median income
Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors
105 E. Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
5775 Carpinteria Avenue
Carpinteria, CA 93013
Fax: (805) 684-5304
Mayor Bradley Stein
6500 Hollister Avenue, Suite 120
Goleta, CA 93117
Mayor Michael T. Bennett
735 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
Fax: (805) 564-5475
Mayor Helene Schneider
The Honorable Sarah Jones, Council member
City of Bella Vista
Dear Supervisor Jones:
I am writing to you to ask your support of a proposed housing development coming before your Board for approval on September 15th, 2007. The Main Street project will provide much-needed residences affordable to local workers who have been forced to commute long distances to their jobs due to the lack of housing in our community. Your support of this project is critically needed, and I’m looking to you for the leadership our City needs to help correct the current imbalance between jobs and housing.
While there has been a great deal of opposition to this project, and to the question of increased housing, in general, I urge you and your Board colleagues to consider at least two of the advantages that this local workforce housing project will provide. First, the Main Street project is situated close to public transportation and the city’s amenities so that its residents’ vehicles will be less likely to add to the growing congestion of local streets and highways. Second, this project will allow the city to stem the loss of young, middle income adults who have had to find housing at growing distances from their jobs here. I hope you agree that losing a vital part of our population is a concern for the future well-being of our city, and that providing appropriate housing is the only way to insure that we remain a healthy and thriving community.
Please support this much-needed project – your positive vote and leadership are critically important in this matter. I plan on attending the September 15th hearing to testify, and I and my friends look forward to seeing you there.
1234 Mill Street