Housing and Community Development

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ'S)




Q:  Do you have a Section 8 program?


A:  No.  Please contact the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara or the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara for Section 8 and rental housing assistance.


Q:  Do you have a waiting list?


A:  No. Currently, our department does not maintain a waiting list for our affordable units. 


Q:  I found an affordable unit for sale. Who do I contact and how do I complete an application?


A:  The County appreciates all individuals who notify us of a potential sale of an affordable unit. However, in order to begin the process of potentially purchasing a unit, please contact the owner, realtor, or individual(s) representing the unit prior to contacting the County. In order to complete an application for an available unit, we must have, in writing, your name from the current owner(s) or representative(s). You will be asked for ID upon picking-up an application.


Q:  Do I have to be a first-time homebuyer to apply for this program?


A:  Yes.  The County of Santa Barbara defines a first-time homebuyer as a household who has NOT held any interest or ownership in any residential real property for the last three (3) years and does not currently own or have any interest in residential real property.


Q:  Do I have to live in Santa Barbara County to qualify for a unit?


A:  No.  Applicants who reside in another County, but have FULL-TIME employment in Santa Barbara County for at least six (6) months prior to submitting an application, are welcome to apply for our program.


Q:  Do you provide financial assistance to purchase an Affordable Unit?


A:  No.  Our department does not provide financial assistance for our units. Households who qualify for an affordable home must obtain their own financing through an FDIC insured lender and obtain a loan that is consistent with our program guidelines.


Q:  Do you provide down-payment assistance for market-rate homes?


A:  No. At this time, the County does not provide down-payment assistance. Please see our additional resources page to find links for down-payment assistance.


Q:  How do I find an affordable unit?


A:  Those interested in Santa Barbara County's affordable housing program should request to be on the Interest List if they have not already done so.  Also, keep an active search on our Resale Units on our webpage, local newspaper listings, or websites such as Craigslist.  


Q:  What income levels qualify?


A:  Please see our Price and Income Guidelines for the current maximum income levels by household size.


Q:  I want to sell my affordable unit.  Where do I start?


A:  The first thing to do is contact Housing and Community Development staff to fill out a copy of our "Notice of Intent to Sell" form before the unit is marketed.  Next, we will provide Pre-Qualification forms aimed to assist you in your preliminary screening of potential applicants.  This document outlines the main eligibility requirements that need to be met.  Have all interested parties complete a Pre-Qualification form and submit them back to you or your real estate agent.  Once a substantial number of these forms has been compiled, you or your agent will select the top three choices.  The County shall be notified of the names and contact information for these top choices and an appointment will be made for the first choice to pick up an application.  Only one application can be given out per resale unit.  


Q:  Are the Affordable Homeownership units monitored?


A:  Yes.  The County is very serious about ensuring that Owners remain in compliance with the provisions of their restrictive covenant.  As a homeowner in the County of Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Program, you have responsibilities relative to preserving the affordability of your unit for the respective income category.  Each year owners are required to complete and submit annual surveys or certifications regarding occupancy, financing, and compliance.  Our department reserves the right to conduct arbitrary site visits to your home.


Q:  What if I think someone is not following the Affordable Homeownership housing rules?


A:  Please call our department hotline by calling (805) 568-2014.  Please provide the address of the unit, the Owner’s name, the issue, and the date of occurrence when you call.


Q:  Do you know any future locations for your department’s affordable housing?


A:  The next affordable homeownership opportunities will be at the Rice Ranch Development in Orcutt, CA.  However, it has not yet been determined when they will be available.  Check back for updates.


Q:  Do you have emergency housing?


A:  No.  Our department does not provide emergency housing options. Please check our additional resources page to find links for emergency housing.


Q:  Do I contact you for my questions regarding Mobile Homes?


A:  No.  Please contact the Housing & Community Development Department of the State of California.



Q:  How do I learn about my rights as a tenant and the responsibilities of my landlord?


A:  Please check our Landlord Tenant Issues page for the phone numbers and websites that will assist you.