Monday, October 16 , 2017, 11:06 pm | Fair 62º

 
 
 
 

Coastal Housing Partnership Helps Local Employees Secure a Home of Their Own

The Santa Barbara nonprofit, which provides assistance through its member companies, will hold its second Home Buying Fair this Saturday

Stacey Bailey remembers the exciting moment when she and her husband realized they would be leaving the ardent Arizona heat for beautiful, breezy Santa Barbara. Soon after, however, the Baileys faced realities familiar to those looking to buy a home in the coastal city.

Renting made keeping the couple’s miniature schnauzer, Kelly, nearly impossible, and owning meant an overwhelming mortgage and a major, commute-determining decision.

“Initially, we didn’t think we could afford it,” Bailey, a dietitian at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, told Noozhawk. “Affordable for Santa Barbara is different than affordable for Arizona.”

The couple were able to secure Bailey’s dream three-story, two-bedroom condo a year and a half ago after they discovered the Coastal Housing Partnership, a full-service housing benefit available to employees of companies that work with the local nonprofit.

Cottage Hospital is among the more than 40 companies in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties — employing a combined 35,000 workers — that pay the annual fee to be members of the partnership, which offers rental and refinancing assistance in addition to helping those looking to buy with special deals and discounts.

The Coastal Housing Partnership saved the Baileys $20,000 by helping to lower the mortgage on their East Beach Collection Santa Barbara home.

The local nonprofit has been assisting local employees into homes for more than 25 years. Although it has a valiant track record — helping more than 10,000 employees become homeowners — the nonprofit has been operating perhaps a bit too successfully under the radar.

Corby Gage, executive director of the Coastal Housing Partnership, said this week that many employers aren’t aware of the housing service.

“You hear, ‘I could never afford in Santa Barbara,’” she said. “Employers have a difficult time recruiting and retaining employees in our area. Offering a housing benefit is really smart.”

Gage is hopeful more businesses will sign up for the benefit, noting that the annual fee is based on the number of company employees.

Creating awareness for the nonprofit and home-shopping education is why the Coastal Housing Partnership will host its second Home Buying Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

Gage said the education piece, which began 15 years ago, has been key to what the partnership offers.

“We find that lack of information and lack of upfront funds are two of the biggest obstacles to home ownership,” Gage said. “We encourage potential home buyers to go to a lender. Find out what you can afford. You want to be the strongest buyer you can be.”

As the buying and lending rules change, so do the seminars, Gage said, noting that the nonprofit soon will offer a new three-part seminar.

She said the Coastal Housing Partnership’s success is spreading mainly via word of mouth, which is evident when talking to one of the excited homeowners.

Bailey still can’t believe it’s her home — a 2½-bathroom, two-car garage home with a balcony, all within walking distance of downtown and the beach.

“I loved it right away,” she said. “That amount definitely helped get us in. I just think it’s a cool thing. People who work inside the city should be able to live there, too.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >