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South Coast Housing 2030: Saying ‘Yes’ Today

March 15, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Speakers will share ideas and answer questions about what we should say “Yes” to in order to provide housing security in the South County:

Julia Hamilton, Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara
Hilda Maldonado, Superintendent of Schools, Santa Barbara Unified School District
Gabe Escobedo, Board Member, SBUSD and former Chair, City of SB Planning Commission
Frank Rodriguez, CAUSE, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy
Stanley Tzankov, Santa Barbara Tenants Union Co-Founder
Laura Capps, SB County Supervisor and former Board Member, SBUSD
Lisa Plowman, Director of Planning and Development, Santa Barbara County

This annual housing forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara (LWVSB) comes at a time when everyone has more questions than answers about how to tackle our ever growing housing crisis. Cooperative planning that should be happening now with the Housing Element process is being threatened by polarizing pressure from the state. Legislators had good intentions to force cities and counties to make up for the affordable housing deficit that has built up over decades.

But as our cities and county push to plan for the state mandated RHNA numbers (Regional Housing Needs Allocation), residents fear that Santa Barbara may lose its character and natural beauty, and jurisdictions have not had a clear path forward. The LWVSB is pleased to host a stellar panel who are looking at lights at the end of this housing crisis tunnel.

We know what we don’t want:
● Local workers, many with essential jobs, and families with children not being able to live here
● Full time residents being displaced by second home residents and illegal airbnbs
● A loss of diversity and permanent residents that could contribute to our cultural and economic vitality
● More commuters that increase greenhouse gas emissions

But what can we say ‘yes’ to for housing that doesn’t create more problems such as:
● Reduction of our critical water supply and other natural resources
● Loss of prime agricultural parcels, open space and view corridors that get upzoned
● Threats to our livability with increased traffic and inadequate parking

Community leaders and County planners are taking on this challenge and as a recent letter from three local School Districts highlight, it’s time to step up as our community did more than fifty years ago when confronting another crisis:

“Equitable, affordable housing projects are essential to any path forward for South Coast housing. Our county has led unprecedented efforts such as environmental impact protections and can become a leader in this critical area as well.” – letter to the County from Santa Barbara, Hope and Goleta school district superintendents and teacher associations.


March 15, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara
View Organizer Website