Santa Barbara County purchased this Isla Vista apartment buliding in 2021 to use as an emergency shelter.
Santa Barbara County purchased this Isla Vista apartment buliding in 2021 to use as an emergency shelter.  (Serena Guentz / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara County has spent federal COVID-19 relief money on pandemic response, services for homeless residents, and infrastructure projects such as HVAC replacements.

The county received $86.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding, delivered over two years. All of the money has to be allocated by the end of 2024, and spent by the end of 2026.

Most of the funds are going to fund pandemic-response costs, capital improvement projects, and health and human services.

About $5.5 million has already been spent, county staff told the Board of Supervisors during Tuesday’s meeting.

Pandemic response costs have included vaccination clinics, personal protective equipment, and vaccination incentives.

The county put $1.4 million of ARPA money toward purchasing the Isla Vista apartment complex that became a 50-bed homeless shelter, the Hedges House of Hope.

Other public money also was used to buy the property and pay Good Samaritan to operate the emergency shelter.  

The big-ticket items among the projects approved for ARPA funding are $17 million for the Public Safety Radio Network Replacement Project, and $14 million for Homekey, which provides services and housing to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The ARPA money also has been used to replace the HVAC system in the Santa Maria Juvenile Hall and do other infrastructure maintenance projects at county buildings.

Scroll down for a full report of the county’s ARPA-funded approved projects.  

Santa Barbara County ARPA Projects 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A stylized hawk's head on a red background

Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at gmagnoli@noozhawk.com.