Housing and Community Development

 AHO Restrictions


If your application is approved by the County and you complete the home sale, this page is a summary of the general unit restrictions.  Other restrictions do apply.



To receive the benefit of purchasing a home at a “below-market-rate” price, an applicant must sign and agree to Deed Restrictions which place limitations on the unit.  Restrictions last either 10, 20, 30, or 45 years.  This ensures the home remains affordable for the next purchaser in need of affordable homeownership opportunities until the units' restrictions expire.


In addition to Deed Restrictions, all homes are monitored
 and all information will be verified by the County of Santa Barbara.


  • Owner agrees to occupy the property as his/her principal place of residence and live in the unit a minimum of 10 months out of a 12 month period.  Owner may not rent out the property.
  • The owner agrees to assist and cooperate with County sponsored annual surveys/certification regarding occupancy, financing, and use of the affordable unit.  Each year, the owner is required to submit an annual certification (usually due March 1st of every year).  This is your opportunity to declare that you have complied with all the requirements of the restrictive covenant that was recorded on the property at the time of purchase.
  • The restrictive covenant remains in effect until the unit's assigned expiration date, as outlined in the covenant.
  • The terms of all financing at the time of sale, or any other time (i.e. refinancing or securing any additional financing) must be approved by the County of Santa Barbara in writing prior to executing.
  • The County has the first Option to Purchase the property when the unit is offered for sale, goes into foreclosure, or falls into default.
  • The owner may sell the property at any time for the restricted affordable price set by the County of Santa Barbara until the unit's assigned expiration date.  The Owner must first notify the County of their intent to sell.
  • An owner must sell their unit to another household that qualifies under the County's program until the unit's assigned expiration date. 
  • All individuals living in the household agree that the County may audit the household for re-evaluation purposes if it is suspected that false or misleading information was ever provided at any time prior to purchasing the unit or while owning the unit.
  • Placing a unit into a trust or living trust is strictly prohibited.
  • An affordable unit may be passed on to an heir, successor, executor, etc.  However, the Restrictions will remain enforceable on the property.  An heir, successor, etc. may keep the property only if they qualify for the program and will have to follow the same restrictions in the affordability covenants.  If not, he/she/they must sell the property to a qualified household.


As a homeowner in the County of Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Program, owners have responsibilities in preserving the affordability of their home.  The County of Santa Barbara is very serious about ensuring that Owners remain in compliance with the provisions of their restrictive covenant.  The County will enforce and remedy any breach.


*The information contained in this website is subject to change at anytime without prior notice