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Coastal Housing Coalition Holds 4th Annual Santa Barbara Housing Conference

Mixing timely workforce housing topics with home-buying — and leasing — tips, the Coastal Housing Coalition is all set for its fourth annual Santa Barbara Housing Conference on Friday.

The day-long event at the Carrillo Recreation Center, 100 E. Carrillo St. in downtown Santa Barbara, will showcase morning and afternoon workshops covering a variety of housing issues such as land-use designation and socioeconomic factors.

“The goal is to provide a community education event,” Craig Minus, board president of the nonprofit Coastal Housing Coalition, told Noozhawk. “The event will further our education mission.

“This is a great way to keep the discussion about housing alive, and we have had tremendous success with our past conferences.”

While South Coast housing prices decreased slightly around 2008 during the Great Recession, they have long since bounced back. According to the Coastal Housing Coalition, the median price currently stands at nearly $1 million.

Since 1980, the affordability gap has expanded and is significantly greater in Santa Barbara, compared to the rest of California and the nation, the CHC says. Further, the South Coast vacancy rate for rental properties is under 1 percent, and rent increases are continuing.

Minus said the annual conferences are intended to help reverse the adverse impacts that the lack of workforce housing is having on the economy, the environment and the community’s quality of life.

“It’s important to attend because we have a housing crisis,” he said.

The conference is expected to attract up to 250 attendees, including housing providers, developers, business leaders, nonprofit representatives, architects, real estate professionals, financial institution managers and employers.

Coastal Housing Coalition members are encouraging elected officials and government leaders to attend.

“They are a key audience,” Minus said.

Matthew Fienup, executive director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, is to deliver the keynote address.

This year’s conference theme is “The Road to Housing.”

Early registration tickets are $114.84 with a service fee. Tickets purchased after 5 p.m. May 18 or at the door are $145.89 with the service charge.

The conference — which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 19 — includes breakfast, lunch and a post-conference wine reception.

Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara Housing Conference, or contact [email protected] or call 805.570.1250.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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.

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