Goleta Super 8 motel at 6021 Hollister Ave.
The Goleta Super 8 motel at 6021 Hollister Ave. soon will be converted to permanent supportive housing for those who experience or are at risk of homelessness. (Serena Guentz / Noozhawk photo)

A project that will convert the Goleta Super 8 motel into permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness will be receiving nearly $19 million in funding from the state.

The funding is coming from California’s Homekey program, which awarded a total of more than $70 million in April for six Homekey projects throughout the state. Goleta’s Super 8 motel project received $18,958,701 from the program.

The project, at 6021 Hollister Ave., will include 59 permanent supportive housing units, with an additional unit to house an onsite property manager. Five existing units will also be converted into community spaces to provide a “robust offering of services,” a news release from the City of Goleta stated. 

In January, both the Goleta City Council and the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors committed to contributing funds to the project if the Homekey grant is awarded.

“This is the culmination of what has been a massive effort on the part of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara to secure this much-needed state funding with assistance from the county and the City of Goleta,” Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said in the city’s press release. “We are pleased to serve as a financial contributor and supporter of this exemplary project. This proposed development will play a big part locally to help address the human and societal problem of people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.”

Now that funding from the state is secured, the Board of Supervisors will be contributing more than $3 million, and the City of Goleta will be contributing $600,000.

“There are hundreds of people that are experiencing homelessness in the area — so that identified a need,” said John Polanskey, director of housing development for the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara, mentioning the Santa Barbara County point in time homelessness count, long waiting lists and Regional Housing Needs Allocation numbers as evidence.

The most recent RHNA update shows that 1,837 additional housing units are needed in Goleta alone — more than 1,000 of those needed at low- and very low-income levels.

Polanskey said conversion work at the motel location involves adding kitchenettes to the units, along with general cleanup and other rehabilitation work.

“We’re working with an architect designing the plans for the rehabilitation. … As soon as we’re finished with that, probably in the next week or two, we’ll be working with the city on getting the permit,” Polanskey said. “As soon as we get the permit, we’ll be able to start the rehabilitation work.”

With an expenditure deadline of eight months from the Homekey grant award date, Polanskey said the Housing Authority hopes to start getting people housed in the project by the end of the year or the beginning of 2023.

“It happens fairly quickly, but not overnight,” Polanskey said.

Polanskey added that the project has received a lot of support from the city, county, community and now the state, and that the Housing Authority is appreciative of that support.

The City of Goleta is expected to hold an informational meeting on the project at the Super 8 location in May, and it will release details to the community once finalized.

Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at sguentz@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Serena Guentz, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at sguentz@noozhawk.com.