The Fund for Santa Barbara has awarded an $8,500 grant to Little House by the Park in Guadalupe to support residents’ efforts to change local policies around affordable housing in Guadalupe.
The grant was awarded to The Guadalupe Community Changers, a group of parents working through the Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County and Little House by the Park, FSA officials said.
This project will address the lack of clarity around tenant rights, evictions, property owner rights, and the direction of the pandemic, which has increased already existing health risk factors among low-income families in Guadalupe, officials said.
The Guadalupe Community Changers will learn to hold housing-related clinic sessions in the community where they will share their concerns and learn about the changing housing laws currently in place. They also will lead community activities to understand community needs to address policy changes that benefit residents. In addition, parents will hold two virtual listening sessions and a set of housing workshops to educate constituents, as well as have their 10th Annual Guadalupe Reading Festival highlighting the housing crisis.
So far, the Community Changers have connected with a Santa Barbara Tenants Union (SBTU) team to learn more about their advocacy and organizing efforts. Their SBTU Help Desk has served as a space to hear live housing advice to renters who are having issues with their property owners. Recently, three Community Changers attended the help desk to ask if their services are exclusive to Santa Barbara residents or if this resource is available to everyone in the county. SBTU aims to support all renters.
— Neil Hartstein