The 2015 Annual Santa Barbara Housing Conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 20, at the historic and newly renovated Carrillo Recreation Center, 110 E. Carrillo St. in downtown Santa Barbara. Hosted by the Coastal Housing Coalition, this year’s conference theme is Housing Needs & Opportunities Revealed.

The nonprofit Coastal Housing Coalition is sponsoring the conference. The CHC’s mission is to educate the public about the impacts of the lack of available housing that is within financial reach of our local workforce. It also advocates for policies and projects that produce more affordable housing for local workers and their families.

A special feature this year will be to present and discuss the findings of the recent study that was commissioned from Encinitas-based True North Research. Timothy McLarney, True North’s president, will present the key findings of the two-part study, which collected detailed data from 124 local employers and more than 2,500 employees on the South Coast earlier this year. There will also be break-out workshops and panel discussions on timely housing topics.

Breakfast, lunch and a post-conference wine reception are included.

More than 200 expected attendees will include housing providers, developers, business and government leaders, nonprofits, architects, real estate professionals, financial institution managers and local employers.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, Santa Barbara County is the one of the least affordable small metropolitan area housing market in the nation. Continued exorbitant housing costs make it inconceivable for most people to buy a home, and the rental market is affected with rents rapidly rising with a .6 percent vacancy rate.

Registration fee is $95 person before March 9, and $125 after March 9 and at the door. Sponsorships are available ranging from $500 to $7,500 for the title sponsorship. Sponsor packages include admission tickets as well as promotional opportunities. Sponsorship deadline is Feb. 28.

Click here to purchase tickets and sponsorships online, or buy them by mail at CHC, P.O. Box 1076, Santa Barbara 93102. For more information, contact Julia Ullemeyer at 805.570.1250, or email

— Julia Ullemeyer is an administrative assistant with the Coastal Housing Coalition.