Workforce and student housing is needed to serve our community and invigorate our local economy. If you go to school or work in our community then you should have access to a safe and affordable place to call home. Previously, the Redevelopment Agency produced high quality affordable housing. Since it’s been abolished, the City has failed in creating a viable plan to move forward. This needs to change. With the City knowing it has to meet the housing needs of our working families and students, and the State of California mandating the acceleration of multi-housing units, it’s imperative that we move forward with OUR community driven plan that will shape Santa Barbara’s future for years to come. Working together carefully managing our growth, we can simultaneously build workforce and student housing while maintaining the character of our neighborhoods.We also must require that new high density rental housing provide some affordable units for our workforce/students. The Council is finally moving forward with this concept of the inclusionary rule, but it lagged for years in the Planning Commission.
A community cannot be just for the haves – a community won’t thrive with people who can afford to buy housing who only come up on the weekend (and spend money only on the weekend). For our caring capacity and the economy – It’s not a zero sum game: workers and students need to have access to affordable housing. They will then spend money back into our economy (every day/all day – not just on the weekends) helping the community thrive in every way.