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

Consolidated Plan Contact


Santa Maria, California, sits at the northern end of the Santa Maria Valley, immediately south of the Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo County line and the Santa Maria River. Historically, the river flooded the valley floor, depositing rich alluvial soils and making the valley one of the most productive agricultural areas in the state. The primary crops produced, such as strawberries and broccoli, are labor-intensive and have attracted large numbers of migrant farm workers and their families to the area in recent years.

In addition to agriculture, oil production provides a number of jobs, although many have moved to nearby off-shore platforms on the south Santa Barbara County coast. Onshore oil is produced in the Santa Maria oil fields located about six mile south of downtown Santa Maria in the unincorporated area of Orcutt. Also, the local economy has been influenced over the years by the "boom and but cycle of activities at Vandenberg Air Force Base located approximately 20 miles southwest of Santa Maria.

With the addition of the Santa Maria Town Center mall and various large retailers, Santa Maria's position as a regional retail destination has been established. However, Santa Maria continues to seek additional industrial growth to balance lower-paying agricultural and retail sector jobs and to decrease dependence on Vandenberg Air Force Base activities.

Action Plan

In Fiscal Year 1995-96, Santa Maria anticipates receiving approximately $1,394,000 in block grant entitlement funds, $60,000 in program income and $280,000 in HOME funds. In addition, the City has approximately $64,000 in program income not yet programmed from Fiscal Year, 1994-95. The total amount of funds available for the Consolidated Plan is $1,797,506. These funds will be spent primarily on public improvements and facilities, housing rehabilitation, public services, code enforcement, economic development, removal of architectural barriers, new elderly affordable housing construction and planning.

Citizen Participation

The City's Special Projects Division of the Community Development Department serves as the lead agency for developing and implementing the Consolidated Plan. In compiling the data and information needed for the plan, it was necessary to consult with many groups and agencies in the Santa Maria area. Among them ere twenty-two social service agencies that provided information concerning the housing needs of children, elderly persons, persons with disabilities, homeless persons, and children identified as lead-poisoned.

In addition to data and information gathering, the development of the Consolidated Plan involved an extensive citizen participation process. The process encouraged citizens and community groups to express their views to identify the overall housing and community development needs in the City, establish priorities for meeting those needs, and determine the proposed uses of available funds. Four public hearings were held that provided the opportunity for approximately 78 people to speak with many more in attendance.

Legal advertisements and news articles were posted and published at least two weeks in advance of all public hearings. In addition, letters were sent to over a hundred community groups, social service agencies, housing providers and interested persons soliciting written comments or proposals and attendance at public hearings. Public testimony received at the public hearings, as well as written comments, have been incorporated into the Consolidated Plan.

A 30-day public review period to receive comments from the public on the Draft Consolidated Plan was conducted from April 14, 1995 to May 13, 1995. Copies of the Draft were available for review at the City of Santa Maria Community Development Department, City Clerk's office, and the City Library.


The 1990 U.S Census reported a total population of 61,284 persons residing in the City of Santa Maria. This is a 54 percent increase from the 1980 Census count of 39,685 people. The City's population is expected to grow at an average rate of 2.5 percent over the 20 year period from 990 to 2010. The State Department of Finance estimates the City's 1994 population to be 67,800.

Santa Maria is a racially and ethnically diverse community consisting of approximately 46.4 percent White, 45.7 percent Hispanic, 5.1 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 2.0 percent Black and 0.6 percent Native American. In five of the City's 1 Census Tracts, minorities make up 50 percent or more of the population.

According to the 1990 Census, the median age of the City's population is 29.33 years old which represents a significant aging since 1970 when the median age was 24.5. Also, the median family income (MFI) was reported by the Census to be $32,170 which is about 78 percent of the reported Count MFI. The level of poverty increased 41.9 percent from 1980 to 1990 from 1.7 percent to 16.6 percent of the population. Most significantly, the percentage of children living in poverty increased over 58 percent during the same period. In seven of the City's census tracts, person earning less than 80 percent of MFI comprise 50 percent or more of the population. Five of those tracts also have concentrations of minorities.

In March, 1994, the City unemployment rate was 10.4 percent while the County reported a 7.3 percent rate. The Santa Maria Valley accounts for one out of every four persons but about one out of every five jobs in the County. the top three job sectors in the valley retail trade, services and agriculture; these industries account for 64 percent of all jobs in the Santa Maria Valley.



The 1990 Census reported that Santa Maria had 21,144 dwelling units with 19,907 occupied. Owner-occupied units comprised 54 percent of the inhabited units. About 7 percent of the housing stock needs concerted efforts to preserve the useful life of the structure.

Housing Needs

Based on the 1990 Census, 4.5 percent of all renter households were low-income, of which 88 percent had housing problems, and 80 percent experienced cost burden. For owner households, 18 percent were low income, with 58 percent having housing problems and 54 percent with cost burden.

Market Conditions

The 1994 median value of a house in Santa Maria for home purchase was $141,900. The median contract rent for a housing unit in Santa Maria was $505.

There are 72 permanent shelter beds and space for 250 emergency beds to house the homeless in Santa Maria. There is no housing specifically set aside in the City for persons diagnosed with AIDS or AIDS related illness.

Affordable Housing Needs

According to the 1990 census, 47 percent of all renter households are low-income and of these over 80 percent are experiencing housing problems or cost burden. All types of low income renter households need assistance. Overcrowding is a major problem for large related households. Owner occupied large households may need assistance with room additions. Elderly households lack affordable accessible units close to services and public transportation. In addition, homes of elderly households may need handicap modifications.

The Hispanic population has special needs that must be considered. A large number of Hispanic households are low-income and a high percentage of these households are overcrowded. Factors such as the lack of education and inability to speak English limit job opportunities for many Hispanics, forcing then into low-paying, seasonal jobs. In order to afford basic housing multiple families are sometimes forced to live in homes or apartment designed for a single family. Families may even live in tool sheds and like structures with no sanitation and little protection from the elements.

Homeless Needs

Emergency shelters and transitional housing are needed by a growing homeless population. There is also a need for job training, educational and other social services for this population. Permanent affordable housing is also needed.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara owns and manages Evans Park, a 150 unit low-income public housing project in the northwest part of Santa Maria. In addition, there were a total of 1,317 Section 8 assisted units in Santa Maria. The waiting list for Section 8 assisted housing is approximately three times the number of assisted units.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

There are many barriers to affordable housing that may increase the costs, act as disincentives to development, or create actual barriers to production or maintenance of housing for low income residents. Public policies that could be barriers are City impact fees, zoning standards, subdivision controls and permit processing.

The City will consider, in limited cases, the deferral or waiver of fees, where legally permitted, on projects affordable to lower income persons. Also the City will relax zoning and subdivision standards when appropriate.

Fair Housing

The City will continue to affirmatively further fair housing by conducting an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice within the City limits, taking appropriate actions to overcome the effects of any impediments identified through that analysis and maintaining records reflecting that analysis and actions taken in that regard.

Lead-Based Paint

Approximately 8,994 housing units in Santa Maria could contain lead-based paint. It is estimated that 3,197 low income and 1,815 moderate income households occupy households that could contain lead-based paint.

Other Issues

Populations other than the homeless also have special needs. The frail elderly, persons with disabilities and those diagnosed with AIDS need supportive, affordable housing.

Community Development Needs

Santa Maria's community development needs include: upgrading and provision of public facilities and improvements; non-housing public services including child care, youth recreation and social services, education, employment and job training, drug abuse counseling and prevention, health, crime prevention; accessibility for persons with disabilities; and expansion of economic development opportunities.


Vision for Change

The purpose of the City of Santa Maria's Consolidated Plans to achieve three basic goals:

Housing and Community Development Priorities

The City of Santa Maria's general housing priorities for the next five years include:

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

The City of Santa Maria's general non-housing community development priorities for the next five years include:

Anti-Poverty Strategy

To combat the growing problem of poverty in the community, there is a need for higher paying jobs and a stable employment base. The City has established goals and policies to encourage economic development opportunities. The City funds Center for Employment Training (CET) and the Good Samaritan Shelter, Inc., that provide job training and placement services to low income persons.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The primary sources of funding that will be available to the City are the CDBG grant, and HOME Consortium funds described in more detail in the Consolidated Plan.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The City will continue to coordinate with other public agencies and nonprofits to implement jointly -sponsored affordable housing, public facility and public service activities. The HOME Consortium will strengthen the lines of communication between local jurisdictions and the community to develop a more comprehensive area-wide strategy for the development of housing policies and programs.


The following are the key projects and activities to be undertaken in Fiscal Year 1995-96 and outlined in more detail in the City of Santa Maria's Consolidated Plan:

Description of Key Projects


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; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

MAP 6 depicts Neighborhood Segments and streets with proposed HUD funded projects.

To comment on Santa Maria's Consolidated Plan, please contact:
Ms. Celeste Coelho-Hudson, Planner
Ms. Joanne Howard, Housing Specialist
PH: (805) 925-0951

Return to California's Consolidated Plans.