A 48-unit low-income housing project is headed for La Cumbre Road in Santa Barbara.
It’s a project of the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara. It calls for 100% below-market rents, set aside for low- and very-low-income tenants.
“It does seem neighborhood friendly,” board member Leon Olson said. “I think this ready to go to the next step.”
The project at its highest point reaches about 48 feet and will include 71 parking spaces, with 10 designated spaces for guest parking.
The parking lot will be partially underground, with three stories of residential development on top.
The ABR voted 6-0 mostly in support of the project. Since it is still in the concept review stage, the Housing Authority, and the architect, the Cearnal Collective, will return with a formal application based on the feedback from the ABR.
Much of the discussion at the meeting focused on the landscaping and the shifting of a building that was previously at one of the corners.
“The project is very handsome and neighborhood friendly,” Black said.
The project, slated for 220 N. La Cumbre Road, is among the flurry of housing proposals working their way through the City of Santa Barbara. The city has approved about 450 apartment units since the average unit-sized density incentive program was created in 2013. The program allows developers to build dense projects to help meet the city’s need for more rental apartment housing. Another 320 apartment projects are currently in the works.
The program has been controversial because even though developers are building units, most of them are rented at market-rates, which is out of touch for most middle-class renters. The city three years ago approved an inclusionary housing ordinance stating that 10% of the units must be set aside for below-market rents.
This project, however, has not sparked any opposition.
“This is an important project that will provide much needed affordable housing for our City,” Councilman Eric Friedman said.
The project is in his district.
“The Housing Authority has a history of providing high-quality housing that meets the long-term need of our city that is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood,” Friedman said.
The Housing Authority also has a project at the corner of Castillo and Carrillo streets and wants to build 60 units for middle-income renters.
Friedman said the La Cumbre project meets an important need in the community.
“This his project will have a mix of one, two and three bedroom units that are critical for families and essential workers who need larger units,” Friedman said. “While studios and one bedroom units are helpful in addressing the housing shortage, we need to also plan for affordable two- and three-bedroom units so families can continue to live here. This project works to address this unmet need.”