Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County and the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors (SBAOR) celebrated their year-long partnership with a $46,000 check to fund Habitat’s next affordable housing project, Cota St. Affordable Homes.

Holding an oversize check from SBAOR are Habitat Santa Barbara Board President Janet Burki, CEO Jessica de L’Arbre, and staff Sophia Roberts and Susan Renehan.
Habitat Santa Barbara Board President Janet Burki, CEO Jessica de L’Arbre, and staff Sophia Roberts and Susan Renehan display the award check from SBAOR. Credit: Allee Gette/SBAOR.

The gift was presented as part of a soldout Fiesta-themed event at SBAOR headquarters on Chapala Street.

“We extend our deep gratitude for the multi-tiered partnership with the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors,” said Jessica Wishan de L’Arbre, Habitat Santa Barbara CEO.

“Our two organizations have a shared focus on the importance of housing as a foundation for building community, and the gift is just one of many examples,” she said.

Habitat Santa Barbara was chosen for partnership in fall 2022 after a competitive application process. As a result, Habitat was the 2023 beneficiary of SBAOR’s annual golf tournament held in May at Glen Annie golf course in Goleta.

In addition to financial support, SBAOR has also provided volunteers to assist with Habitat’s home repair program as well as its exterior maintenance program called A Brush With Kindness.

SBAOR volunteers will work side by side with Habitat staff to repair and beautify a home in the Westside neighborhood this fall. The SBAOR team will assist with landscaping, exterior maintenance, and general neighborhood clean-up.

“SBAOR has partnered with us throughout the past 12 months,” said de L’Arbre. “We are so impressed with their members’ fundraising, volunteer support, and interest in learning more about the value in, and need for affordable housing.”

The gift from SBAOR will go directly to the Cota St. Affordable Homes, Habitat Santa Barbara’s fifth affordable housing project. It will include six new homes and one rehabilitated home that will be sold at affordable mortgages to low-income families.

The homes will be built by the homeowners alongside volunteers under the supervision of licensed contractors. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2024.

For more about Cota St. Affordable Homes, visit sbhabitat.org/cota-street-faqs/.