You Can't Afford To Live In Santa Barbara, Unless...
...you have access to family money or are extremely successful in your profession.
But most people don't fit into either of these categories. For that group, I have a suggestion: stop reading this. Stop right now. Memorize the names below:
Melissa Bonillo / Housing Programs Specialist / City of Santa Barbara (http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/contact/cd/housing.asp)
Margo Wagner / Senior Housing Programs Specialist / County of Santa Barbara (http://cosb.countyofsb.org/housing/default.aspx?id=4584)
Jaime Valdez / Economic Development Coordinator / City of Goleta (http://cosb.countyofsb.org/housing/default.aspx?id=4586)
What do these three have in common? Besides being professional and compassionate, they play big roles in the affordable housing programs for their respective areas.
These programs provide below-market-rate housing options for local employees who meet financial and other requirements. Qualified employees who meet maximum income requirements based on family size can be given the opportunity to purchase a home (typically condominiums) at a discount.
The theory is that these programs will enable the working class to remain employed locally and fill the gap between college students and high earners/retirees. Developers can agree to designate a portion of their new developments as affordable in exchange for getting the chance to build new construction in an area that is notoriously fickle in that regard.
If you are interested in these programs, send me an email and I can provide you with the latest interest list forms for each jurisdiction. People who are on these interest lists get notified of upcoming vacancies and lottery drawings. There is no obligation. If your name is drawn for a new development, you do not have to buy the unit. Simply turn down the opportunity and the next person on the list gets their chance.
These programs can be polarizing among members of the community, but the programs exist and you should take advantage of them! If you meet the income requirements, I can't think of a good reason not to apply.
This could be your ticket to home ownership...at least until your rich aunt wills her riches to you!
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