U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


The City of Santa Barbara is located in the south coast area of Santa Barbara County on the Pacific ocean. It occupies an area of 23 square miles. Areas adjacent, Goleta and Montecito (unincorporated). The City is the commercial, financial and government center of Santa Barbara County. The University of California at Santa Barbara is located in Goleta, and Santa Barbara City College and Westmont College in Montecito.

Action Plan

For the Fiscal Year 1995, Santa Barbara's action plan identifies the proposed use of the $2.6 million from the two HUD formula grant programs, (Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): $1,542,000 and the HOME Investment Partnership Program: $615,000.) Reallocations and repayments from prior years funding comprise an estimated: $450,000. Projects are located in areas where the residents are low or moderate income. These areas are located in the downtown, eastside and westside areas. These same areas contain the highest concentration of ethnic populations.

Citizen Participation

The process of gathering and obtaining input from Santa Barbara citizens included substantial consultation with agencies, groups, organizations and those interested in the development and preparation of the Consolidated Plan. Meetings with over 45 agencies/groups were held between October 1994 and April, 1995.

A public hearing was held on September 27, 1994 to discuss the "early development stage" of the Consolidated Plan. Another public hearing was held on March 28, 1995 on the proposed activities to be included in the Plan. The draft of the plan was made available for a 30 day period beginning April 14, 1995. Copies of the Plan were sent to the County of Santa Barbara and State of California and social service agencies to solicit their comments regarding the housing needs of children, elderly persons, persons with disabilities, homeless and other persons served by the agencies.


The 1990 Census indicates the City has a population of 85,571. The percentage of people of Hispanic origin in the City has increased from 22% in 1980 to 31% in 1990. The total population of the City increased by about 11,000 (15%), the Hispanic population increased 10,420, an increase of 63%.The majority of the population continues to be white (63.7%). The Asian population (2.2%) is distributed through the City. The Black population (2%) is concentrated in the eastside neighborhoods.

Areas with concentrations of low income populations are in the downtown census tracts: 8.01, 8.02, 9, 10,11 & 12.04. Census tracts 8.01 and 8.02 contain the highest concentrations with over 70% minority populations. Hispanics form the majority of the minorities in the concentrated areas. Blacks, although only 2% of the City's population and not totalling 5% of any census tract, have their highest concentration in census tracts 8.01 and 9.

The 1990 Census indicates that the senior population has declined both in numbers and as a percent of the total population, indicating that Santa Barbara may no longer be a growing retirement community. The number of citizens age 60-74 has decreased, while the number of people age 75 and over has increased.

In 1990, 25% of all households in Santa Barbara had incomes below 50% of the citywide median income. These households tend to be concentrated in certain areas of the City; primarily the downtown area, the eastside and westside areas.

While housing ownership costs have come down, they continue to be out of reach by most households. A buyer of a "starter" condo which can be obtained for about $160,000, would need an annual income of $47,240 and a down payment of over $32,000. A starter single family house can be obtained at about $215,000.



In 1990, 22% of the housing stock was built before 1940 and the median year of construction of all housing units in Santa Barbara was 1959. The City of Santa Barbara has limited vacant land suitable for residential development. In addition, because of a short term drought the City implemented temporary building restrictions and identified the need to develop long term dependable water supplies. Limitations such as air quality, traffic capacity, tax policy and economic conditions have been a factor related to a decrease in the rate of new construction.

Employment in the aerospace, defense and other high-technology industries has declined dramatically. Several thousand jobs have been lost, and many business have closed their doors altogether. Correspondingly, the various levels of government, have been cut back due to the state of the economy. Due to these cutbacks in employment, property values have declined, foreclosures and forced sales of homes has increased, but retail business volume is now going up. Property values have started to stabilize.

Housing Needs

From 1980 to 1990, the number of overcrowded units doubled. In 1980, 6.9% of renter occupied units were overcrowded. By 1990, 15.3% were overcrowded. Renters occupy almost 58% of the housing units in the City and owners 42%. The vacancy rate of rental units has grown as many renters "double-up" and share housing. This accounts for the large number of unrelated households in the City.

The need for low-income rental housing is at a peak in Santa Barbara. The waiting lists for Section 8 housing and public housing have been closed since July, 1993.

In 1990, 22% of the housing stock was built before 1940 with the median construction date at 1959. Rehabilitation of existing housing is needed to maintain this old housing stock.

Housing Market Conditions

The City of Santa Barbara is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. This primarily due to high housing costs. For the past two years appraisers were devaluing residential real estate by 5 to 10 percent per year. The decline was the greatest in the condominium market, which for many years has provided virtually all of the inventory for the first-time homebuyer market, and in raw land. Condominiums that sold for $200,000 in 1990 have declined to as little as $150,000 in 1993.

Renters occupy almost 58% of the housing units in the City. Rents have neither increased nor decreased during the current economic decline. Rent surveys indicate rents almost exactly the same for all sizes of units and structure types, except that rents of larger sized units (3-4 bedrooms) have increased somewhat. The vacancy rate for rental housing has increased to in excess of 5 percent.

Affordable Housing Needs

Housing ownership costs have come down but continues to be out of reach of most households. A buyer of a "starter" condo, which can be obtained for about $160,000, would need an annual income of $47,240 and a down payment of over $32,000. A starter single family home starts at about $215,000.

In 1990, about 22% of the housing stock was built before 1940 and the median year of construction of all housing units in Santa Barbara was 1959.

Homeless Needs

A 1990 study estimated the number of homeless in the City of Santa Barbara to be 1,000. The homeless population consists of people of all ages and races. In addition, there are a multitude of homeless families.

There is a need for emergency, transitional and permanent housing for the homeless and more critical is the funding of operating costs for shelter and service providers.

The City has sponsored the use of several facilities. In winter months, the National Guard Armory has been utilized for seven years. Up to 150 persons are housed when the temperatures fall below 40 degrees.

Transition House operates an overnight shelter with stays of up to 30 days. This facility can house up to 70 persons. A priority is set for women with children, single women, followed by elderly, frail, mentally disabled, and if space is available for single males.

The City offers shelter/transitional housing through fifteen different agencies, the number of beds varies from 6 to 150. Five facilities offer either breakfast, lunch or dinner. Clothing is provided by for agencies; showers by two and laundry service by one agency.

Four agencies provide Drop-In Centers/Referral Services; one agency provides Daycare for Children; three agencies provide Permanent Housing; and two Health Care services.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The City has 481 Public Housing units. Existing Section 8 Certificates and Vouchers total 1,292.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Potential barriers include market, physical, institutional, social/political constraints. Land costs of $25-40 per sq. foot can result in up to $100,000 per unit. High market price for purchase; the average cost of a single-family unit is $346,000. The cost of new construction, even when financed publicly, results in new affordable developments priced above the market rate for existing housing.

Regional environmental constraints, projected shortages of infrastructure capacity, impacted schools and a drought-induced water shortage have contributed to barriers to affordable housing.

High construction standards, such as unit size, exceed minimum health and safety needs. Some residential areas zoned commercial, and continuing decline in non-local sources of housing funds. Vote in 1970's limited City population resulting in some neighborhood resistance to higher density.

Fair Housing

The Fair Housing/Discrimination Program responds to inquiries and investigate reported cases of housing discrimination and conducts seminars to educate the public on housing rights and responsibilities.

Lead-based Paint

In a 1992 study conducted by the Child Health and Disability prevention division of County of Santa Barbara Health Care Services approximately 2,400 children were tested for levels of lead in the bloodstream. The study revealed no clustering of high blood lead content cases. The Environmental Health Department reports no cases of lead present in the blood above acceptable levels.

Based on national average probabilities, the incidence of lead based paint based upon the age of the structure, indicates the following probabilities:

The City has programs in place to evaluate and eliminate lead- based hazards whenever a housing unit is being rehabilitated using Community Development Block Grant funds.


The City will regularly attend the Human Services Association meetings. This group promotes planning, coordination and improvement of existing resources. The group advocates on behalf of human service agencies.


Vision for Change

Santa Barbara's Plan constitutes a strategic vision for housing and community development.

Housing Priorities

The City's housing priority is to maintain and upgrade existing low income affordable housing stock. Develop and promote programs that create new affordable housing for very low to moderate income persons. Promote and provide services that prevent discrimination and eliminate barriers to housing. Support programs that strengthen or expand public or social service agencies which facilitate low and moderate income housing and other needs. Support programs for homeless and non-homeless persons with special needs.

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

Support economic development proposals which leverage financial resources to create or retain jobs for low and moderate income persons.

Anti-poverty Strategy

The anti-poverty strategy requires taking into account factors affecting poverty over which the City has control. The City has established goals whereby through the use of Community Development Block Grant Program, households with incomes below the poverty line may be assisted. The goals and programs provide a ladder of services to help climb out of poverty and create a life of dignity and independence. Some of the programs attack the symptoms of poverty and others help provide a way out. The goals provide for the production of new housing and maintain/upgrading existing affordable housing in the City.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The City has available a number of resources available through federal programs, such as Community Development Block Grant (CDBG); HOME, local Redevelopment funds, Public Housing; Section 8 vouchers/certificates, and Emergency Shelter Grants.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

Coordination between public agencies providing housing resources, assisted housing providers, private and governmental health, mental health and service agencies are critical to the delivery of viable products/services.

Each year funding applications are solicited from the community. A committee reviews the applications recommends funding for those programs which best address the needs of the poor and the stated goals. The review of annual applications is effective as it allows for current and emerging issues and problems to be addressed.

The City will encourage joint reviews of funding program guidelines and regulations to increase compatibility of CDBG and other funding programs, such as City Human Service funding.

Community Development staff monitor project activities on a regular basis. Public Service agencies submit monthly progress reports documenting clients served, expenses, and achievement of specific goals and objectives.

Capital projects, rehabilitation, and new construction activities are monitored on a regular basis to determine progress and to ensure quality workmanship throughout. Staff utilize a number of status reports followed by frequent site visits.


Description of Key Projects


Projects/programs are operated citywide. Almost all of the projects are concentrated in the most needy neighborhoods; those census tracts with 51% or more of the residents low and or moderate income. These areas are downtown, eastside and westside.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 6 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one neighborhood.

MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

To comment on Santa Barbara's Consolidated Plan, please contact:
Susan Boehlje,
Assistant Housing and Redevelopment Manager,
City of Santa Barbara
PH: (805)-564-5461.

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