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Goleta Council Backs Bond Sale for HACSB Housing Plan

The county's Housing Authority can proceed with converting 54 low-income units from public housing to Section 8

The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara got the green light from the Goleta City Council on Tuesday night to issue and sell tax-exempt bonds as part of its plan to convert 54 low-income housing units from public affordable housing to the Section 8 program.

The council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution allowing HACSB to issue the bonds in amounts up to $7 million, which would lead to the conversion from public housing to the partially private Section 8.

While the city of Goleta has no direct responsibility for the conversion, it held the public hearing for HACSB, which is required by law to have such a hearing before the issuance of tax-exempt bonds. The low-income units in question are all located within the city limits.

“I think that what the Housing Authority is doing here is fully in concert with our goals in our General Plan and our Housing Element to maintain affordable housing within our city boundaries,” Councilwoman Margaret Connell said.

The resolution is another step forward for HACSB, which hopes to convert the low-income units from public to partially private ownership through a partnership with its affiliated nonprofit Surf Development Company. The agency has held several meetings with its tenants to explain that without the conversion, HACSB would not be able to fund the $3.1 million in necessary repairs in the units, and on the associated infrastructure.

The units will not be placed on the open market, and the agency has promised its tenants that it will help them secure other temporary housing during the process, and assist with the tenants’ applications for Section 8 should they decide to apply for housing.

At the end of the process, both Surf Development Company and HACSB will be co-general partners in what will be called the Aparicio Community Apartments Limited Partnership. HACSB will continue to maintain the units.

HACSB Executive Director John Polanskey said the alternatives would be to request the funds from the city, or to do nothing.

“There would be a point in time, probably pretty soon, that we would not be able to keep the properties up in any kind of livable condition,” he said. “There just wouldn’t be funds.”

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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