As long-term recovery efforts continue in Montecito, Santa Barbara County officials are reaching out to homeowners facing unique challenges in repairing and rebuilding in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire and Jan. 9 debris flow.
Case managers through the Planning and Development Department can help homeowners navigate the process of debris management, permitting and more. Officials are focused on homeowners not currently linked to case management support.
Several resources are available including an interactive map of affected properties and rebuilding guidelines, available at the county Planning and Development website www.SBCountyPlanning.org.
All 309 properties in Montecito presently identified as either damaged or destroyed have assigned case managers.
“Case managers will work directly with the property owners through the permitting process as well as provide guidance on communication with other departments and agencies such as the Flood Control District,” said Dianne Black, assistant director for the county’s Planning and Development Department.
However, about two-thirds of owners of these properties have not been in contact with a Planning and Development case manager.
“We continue to encounter homeowners at the Montecito Center who feel overwhelmed by the massive task of starting over, often at a time when they are also dealing with profound trauma and great personal loss,” said Ben Romo, community recovery and engagement coordinator for the county’s Office of Emergency Management.
“Connecting homeowners with their case managers, people who are specifically devoted to helping them, is an enormous benefit to beginning the rebuilding and recovery process for some of our most impacted neighbors,” he said.
“We invite all homeowners needing assistance to call or come see us at the Montecito Center for Preparedness, Recovery and Rebuilding. We want to help in whatever way we can,” he said.
Staff at the Montecito Center, 1283 Coast Village Circle, can link homeowners to assigned case managers and assist in accessing resources to meet a variety of recovery needs.
The center’s phone number is 845-7887; email address is email@example.com.
Hours of operation:
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Wednesday, 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
— Santa Barbara County Joint Information Center.