Coastal Housing Coalition will present the 2022 Santa Barbara Housing Conference, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Carrillo Recreation Center, 100 E. Carrillo St., Santa Barbara.
The annual event brings together regional experts to educate and advocate for policies and projects that produce affordable housing for local workers. This year’s keynote speaker and workshops will afford attendees a chance to discuss potential solutions to the region’s critical housing shortage. For tickets and sponsorship information, visit www.coastalhousingcoalition.org.
In recent decades, the gap between housing prices and household income in Santa Barbara County has become increasingly significant. The average median income for a family of four is $94,312 while the median home price is $1.9 million, a disparity that has adverse effects on businesses and their employees.
Coastal Housing Coalition gathers experts to provide insight and engage attendees in a effort to influence policies and projects that meet the needs of the South Coast workforce, many of whom are having to move outside the region, resulting in a loss of talented human capital.
“We are excited to collaborate with our speakers and experts to address, among other issues, the current labor shortage that many local employers are facing,” said Jon Standring, Coastal Housing Coalition’s board president. “The disproportionate housing costs and lack of available and affordable rental properties are directly correlated to this issue.
“Our goal is to collaborate with public and private entities to identify executable solutions.”
The program will feature keynote speaker Jessica Trounstine, a professor at UC Merced and president of the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees.
With a BA in political science from UCSD, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley, Trounstine studies American politics, with a focus on large cities. She examines how political institutions affect residents’ ability to achieve responsive government.
Trounstine has written and published two books, one of which uses data from thousands of American cities to discuss how local governments create and implement policies that contribute to the wealth and class disparity. There will be a Q&A period following her presentation.
Attendees also will participate in a series of educational and interactive workshops, led by members of the Coastal Housing Coalition. The first workshop will address current policies requiring residential housing developments to dedicate large amounts of land for parking private vehicles.
The workshop will explore options for reduced or no-parking residential developments, affording more space for residential units, and discuss the benefits of investing in infrastructure, such as walkable neighborhoods and public transportation, which will also support a more sustainable future.
The following workshop will highlight a variety of innovative ideas that can stimulate the conversation surrounding the housing market, and perhaps lead to new, equitable housing policies that will help create and sustain a more vibrant and diverse community. Long-term solutions to the housing crisis will require close cooperation among all stakeholders, including government regulators, property owners, and creative thinkers.
The final workshop will educate attendees on state legislation that has impacted housing laws in local communities. Workshop leaders will discuss the ways in which the state can pass legislation that will better aid the South Coast’s housing needs, and how the policies could be more impactful in communities.
Founded in 2005, the Coastal Housing Coalition is a nonprofit committed to educating the public about the lack of affordable workforce housing, and advocating for the development of housing that meets the financial needs of local employees.