On a bright afternoon, a small group of people gathered at a freshly painted Upper State Street apartment complex to mark an important milestone for the Santa Barbara Community Housing Corp.
Founded in 1975, the nonprofit SBCHC provides safe and affordable housing, including special-needs units, to low- and very low-income individuals and families in Santa Barbara County. Currently, the organization has approximately 300 units, most of them tucked around Santa Barbara.
Its newest property, at 2843 State St., adds 10 more units to that collection and is the first major acquisition for the SBCHC since 1997.
“This is a great day for the Santa Barbara Community Housing Corp.,” said Emmet Hawkes, the executive director. “We’ve been serving this community for more than 30 years and we’re excited to have an opportunity to do even more.”
Hawkes said the two-story complex, a former motel, was purchased with the proceeds from the sale of two Goleta houses that were not a great configuration for the organization’s clients. The bulk of SBCHC housing stock is in more traditional apartment units, such as at the Castillo Homes complex in the 1000 block of Castillo Street and the Faulding Hotel, 15 E. Haley St.
SBCHC finances its projects through a variety of private/public partnerships and municipal, Santa Barbara County, state and federal loans and grants for project development, site acquisition, construction and permanent financing. Area banks are regular participants in projects, as are limited partnerships with corporate investors.
Mayor Marty Blum led a delegation of public officials at the ceremony and commended SBCHC for its work on behalf of those in need.
“You take on the truly difficult challenges and you do such a wonderful job,” Blum told the SBCHC board members in attendance. Clasping her hands to her heart, she added, “These units are just beautiful.”
Blum was joined at the ribbon-cutting ceremony by 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf, City Councilmen Dale Francisco and Grant House, and Rob Pearson, CEO of the Santa Barbara Housing Authority, a frequent collaborator with SBCHC.
Also on hand were SBCHC board president Dan Oriskovich, vice president of Montecito Bank & Trust, and seven board members: political consultant Emily Allen; Steve Golis, a principal at Radius Group Commercial Real Estate; Steve Jones, sales manager of Wilson Printing; Hazra Kamal, chief financial officer of the UCSB Alumni Association; attorney Anne Porter; Andy Roteman, a partner of Roteman, Eberhard & Associates architects; Tim Taylor, vice president of Prospect Mortgage Co.; and — full disclosure — Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen.
Click here for more information on the Santa Barbara Community Housing Corp.