The fifth annual Housing Santa Barbara Day took place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at De la Guerra Plaze. The event, hosted by 2nd Story Associates, is intended to connect community members with local affordable housing non-profit agencies and service providers.
“It was wonderful and very well attended and there was line after line of people at all of the booths including the housing authority tables for information. There were people from all walks of life: homeless, single parents, young workforce couples, seniors on fixed income, it ran the gamut and went to show the overwhelming need for affordable housing in the community,” Rob Fredericks, CEO of Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, told the News-Press. “It was really great that we had the event and that so many of our partners were there to provide information including legal aid and workshops. It was very well attended. I’m so happy we had such a good turnout today.”
Well over 400 people attended the event, Mr. Fredericks told the News-Press.
“It was a very nice environment. It seemed like everyone was enjoying the event from those who were manning the different tables and partners, to those coming and searching for help. Everyone there seemed to be focused on helping one another and providing what could be provided. Unfortunately so many people are looking for affordable housing and we aren’t able to provide it. There is such an overwhelming need, if we are going to come anywhere near achieving the housing need we are going to need local leaders to step up and locate local sources to coincide with state and federal funds,” said Mr. Fredericks.
“We held the event in 2021, but it wasn’t well attended, and I think that is part of the COVID issue with people still social distancing. This was the first full year of so many people coming out that I have seen since 2019 looking for housing and supportive services resources,” he continued.
The Rob Moreno Quartet and Jineanne Coderre Duo played during the event. “They were terrific. They added an ambience to an entire event making … and made people feel invited to stay awhile and we had food trucks available so people would take the time to go to each individual table and learn what was available to them in the community,” said Mr. Fredericks.
October is National Housing America Month, a time when communities throughout the country celebrate local housing efforts and a time to raise awareness for the need for additional affordable housing through education, advocacy and empowerment.
“There are events all over the country to highlight affordable housing opportunities and the need for affordable housing in communities. The main purpose of this event is to shine a light on the need for affordable housing in the community and provide local residents with information on how to apply for affordable housing. Its purpose is to disseminate information to the residents as well as highlight the need for affordable housing,” said Mr. Fredericks.
To learn more about Housing Santa Barbara Day,go to http://www.2nd-story.org.
“Even though people are in dire need of affordable housing both the city and the county are doing everything in their power they currently can with the current resources available. But much much more is needed in terms of local resources to match state and federal resources to build the housing need,” said Mr. Fredericks. “We are doing what we can, but we could do so much more with available local funding sources.”