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Housing Authority Commission

In November 1968, City Council sponsored a measure entitled Proposition C, which the voters approved, asking for authority to develop low income housing units. This action was taken in compliance with Article 34 of the State Constitution requiring voter approval before any California community may develop publicly-financed low income housing.

One year later, City Council created and appointed the Housing Authority Commission, which, unlike other City Commissions and Boards, is not categorized as an advisory agency, even though the Mayor appoints the Commissioners. It is an operating arm of the City, and is also a legally distinct public entity, separate from City government. The Commission has broad powers which include setting policy, hiring staff, contracting, approving budgets, and managing public assets and funds.

The primary task of the Housing Authority is to provide affordable rental housing for low income families and elderly persons. The Authority provides housing that it builds, owns and manages for eligible applicants and housing for which it provides rent subsidies on behalf of eligible applicants who lease privately owned units (Section 8).

View and download Housing Authority Commission Agendas.

General Functions

Although the Housing Authority Commission does at times act in an advisory capacity to the City Council, the Commission is an autonomous State agency, appointed by the Mayor, with powers to condemn property, sell bonds and incur debt with respect to the provision of low income housing in the City of Santa Barbara.

Committee Functions


7 Members
All appointments are made by the Mayor and are subject to confirmation by a majority of City Council, per California Health and Safety Code Section 34270.


Members should have some interest and background in housing development, management or other comparable experience. 

  • Two members may be non-City residents.
  • Two members must be tenants who are receiving housing assistance from the Housing Authority. At least one must be 62 years of age or older.
  • Five members represent the public at large.

Length of Term

The public at large members serve 4 year terms. The tenant members serve 2 year terms.

Meeting Schedule

The Commission meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 4:00 p.m. at the Housing Authority Office, 706 Laguna Street.

Time Involved

Average of 10 - 20 hours per month

Financial Disclosure Requirement

Members must file a Statement of Economic Interests upon appointment, annually and when leaving the advisory group.


$50 per meeting attended


Housing Authority, (805) 965-1071


California Codes, Health and Safe Code Section 34240 - 34250, and 34270 - 34286; City Resolution No. 06-092, Page 2, Guidelines for the City of Santa Barbara Advisory Groups, and City Resolution Nos. 95-106, and 6882.