Mark your Calendar! The Coastal Housing Coalition presents the 5th Annual Santa Barbara Housing Conference:

Collaborate for Housing

Friday, May 18, 2018 

8:30am - 3:30pm

Carrillo Recreation Center

Once again Santa Barbara County's only housing conference will feature lots of networking, a dynamic speaker, choice of educational workshops, and expert panel discussions on timely housing topics and issues. Breakfast, lunch and a post-conference wine reception are included. 

Up to 250 attendees, including housing providers, developers, business and government leaders, non-profits, architects, real estate professionals, financial institution managers, vendors, employers and other will attend. We anticipate another sold-out event. 

Sponsorships are available at $500, $1000, $3000 and $5000 which include tickets, publicity, booth space, banner privileges, etc. according to sponsor level. For a description of sponsor benefits and to print our sponsor form, click below: 

For more information on tickets and sponsorships, contact Shannon Batchev at or 805-570-1250


2018 KeyNote Speaker: CaLifornia Senator Scott Wiener

Wiener photo.jpg

Wiener authored SB 35 - The Housing Accountability and Affordability Act - which creates a streamlined approval process for housing when cities are not meeting the housing creation goals required by the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), which will expedite the construction of affordable housing in California. The bill, Senate Bill 35, was central to a broad housing package that will make it easier to build housing.  

In the State Senate, Senator Wiener works to make housing more affordable by confronting California's severe housing shortage; to invest in our transportation systems, including improving and expanding public transportation systems; to increase access to healthcare, and to support working families.

Before being elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Senator Wiener served as Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney's Office. 

He received a Bachelor's Degree from Duke University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He has lived in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood for over 20 years.  


Conference Agenda

8:30 am – Registration and Breakfast

9:15 am – Welcoming Comments

9:30 am – Keynote Address: Scott Wiener, California State Senator, San Francisco 

10:30am – Break

10:45am – Michael Towbes Excellence in Workforce Housing Award

11:00 am – Elected and Appointed Officials Panel  

12:00 pm – Lunch

1:00 pm – Workshop Session #1 

2:10pm – Break

2:20pm – Workshop Session #2

3:30pm – Beer/Wine Social, Door Prize Giveaway


Afternoon Workshops

Three workshops are offered and are held twice. Attendees may choose any two workshops of the three they wish to attend:

Workshop A: What We Can Learn about Housing Development in Historic Districts

This workshop will explore the Challenges of Developing Housing in Historic Districts. The recent AIA State Street Design Charrette advocated for the development of significant numbers of housing units in Santa Barbara’s historic central core. The SB City Council appears to be favoring this area as a focus for future high density housing development. It’s clear that there are many challenges and constraints associated with development in these sensitive areas. This workshop is meant to be an exploration of those issues as they exist in Santa Barbara and how they have been addressed in other communities. The goal of the workshop is to come up with some ideas and recommendations that could help as the City moves forward with its new focus on downtown housing.

Workshop B: The Future of Housing

We are excited to present this panel on the future of housing with this thought provoking group of panelists. What is possible if we think differently? What is the future of housing viewed through a different lens? Many thought leaders believe that for humanity to evolve for the better we must challenge conventions and apply creativity to challenges such as our County’s housing shortage. There are several key issues paramount to support housing production: economic vitality, place making, infrastructure and resource development/management, housing type flexibility, and transportation/parking systems. Our panelists will share their insights on addressing our housing needs.

Workshop C: Local Preference Options and Fair Housing Laws

Ensuring housing is available to our local workers is a critical need in our community. While incentive programs have been designed to reduce the jobs/housing imbalance, there is concern that these newly built units are rented by nonresidents rather than our local workforce. Although many underlying barriers persist, local preference policies have been used by other communities to ensure residents and employees are given priority in housing. In this workshop, we explore the benefits and challenges of implementing local preference policies and the legal implications related to Fair Housing Laws.

We seek to address the following questions:

• Are there local preference programs in place now? How do they work?

• What objectives do preference programs intend to accomplish?

• How can it be done without running into fatal legal problems?

• What are the policy and operational implications of a local preference program?


A Special Thanks to our 2018 sponsors:













The 4th Annual Santa Barbara Housing Conference (2017)


Hosted by the Coastal Housing Coalition, the 2017 Annual Santa Barbara Housing Conference was held Friday, May 19, at the historic Carrillo Recreation Center in downtown Santa Barbara. This year’s conference theme was “The Road to Housing.”

A volunteer-run nonprofit organization, CHC held the popular conference for the fourth year. The event is the only housing conference held in Santa Barbara County and featured lots of networking, dynamic keynote speaker Matthew Fienup, Executive Director for the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (CERF) at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, choice of morning and afternoon educational workshops, and a plenary panel discussion by local executives on how the high cost of housing affects their businesses. 

The CHC mission is to educate the public about the impacts of the lack of available housing that is within financial reach of local workforce and to advocate for policies and projects that produce more housing that is affordable for local workers.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, Santa Barbara County is the one of the least affordable small metropolitan area housing markets in the nation. Continued exorbitant housing costs make it inconceivable for most people to buy a home, and the rental market is impacted with continuing rental increases, with a less than one percent vacancy rate.

Attendees included housing providers, developers, business and government leaders, non-profits, architects, planners, employers, government staffers, real estate professionals, financial institution managers, employers and employees.

Ellen Bildsten AIA, LEED AP and Jon Standring were the 2017 Co-Chairs of the Conference. Bildsten is the Principle Architect at Bildsten Architecture and Planning. She graduated with a B.Arts and B.Arch from the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University. A UCSB graduate, Standring is Founder and President of Beachside Partners, a real estate investment brokerage focused on commercial and residential assets on the South Coast.

Top sponsors included Yardi, UCSB, Flowers & Associates, Ventura Investment Company, Buynak-Fauver-Archbald-Spray LLP, The Towbes Group, and many others.