How You Can Help

Does the lack of housing that is affordable to the local workforce alarm you? Are you interested in protecting and preserving the housing that we have now and providing for more workforce housing in the future? You can join with the Coastal Housing Coalition as we take action to preserve the quality of life and economic health of our community. All of us have a stake in solving this housing crisis.

How you can help:

  • Stay informed about the employee housing needs on the South Coast by visiting our website and blog.
  • Support housing and land-use policies that encourage the production of employee housing. Attend city, county, and regional meetings regarding housing.
  • Endorse good residential developments when proposed. Write a letter or speak at a public hearing in support of workforce housing.
  • Make a donation to Coastal Housing Coalition.
  • Join our board or a working committee to help in planning our bi-annual housing conference, fundraising, or our advocacy efforts.

Please let us know if you would like us to send you periodic updates on the actions and progress of Voices for Housing as we work to promote strategies to increase the supply of housing that our local workers can afford.


PUBLIC MEETINGS - City of Santa Barbara  

City meetings are broadcast live on City TV channel 18 and streamed live at where they are also archived and viewable on demand. 

City Council Meetings are held on Tuesdays at 2pm at Council Chambers, City Hall. 

Planning Commission Meetings are held on the first, second and third Thursdays of the month at 1pm at Council Chambers, City Hall. 

Historic Landmarks Commission Meetings are held every other Wednesday at 1:30pm at the David Gebhard Public Meeting Room, 630 Garden St. 

Architectural Board of Review Meetings are held Mondays at 3pm at the David Gebhard Public Meeting Room, 630 Garden St.



County Board of Supervisor Meetings and Planning Commission meetings are broadcast live on CSBTV20. They are also streamed at where they are also archived and viewable on demand. 

County Board of Supervisors Meetings are held on three Tuesdays of the month at 9am. The first and third meetings are held in Santa Barbara in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 105 East Anapamu St., 4th Floor. The second meeting is (typically) held in Santa Maria at 511 East Lakeside Parkway.

County Planning Commission Meetings are held three Wednesdays of the month at 9am. The first and third meetings are held in Santa Barbara at 123 East Anapamu Street, Room 17, and the second meeting is (typically) held in Santa Maria at 511 East Lakeside Parkway.

County Historic Landmarks Advisory Commission Meetings are held the second Monday of the month at 10am at 123 East Anapamu, Room 17 (unless specified otherwise).


CHC Public Outreach Campaign

Engaging the public and local decision makers in problem-solving to alleviate the employee housing shortage.

Our public outreach campaign is a grassroots communication effort designed to encourage decision makers and elected officials to make employee housing a priority. Through this initiative, we invite South Coast workers (especially those who would like to live closer to their jobs, rather than commuting 1-2 hours every work day), business, industry and non-profit leaders, and interested local residents to speak up for workforce and affordable housing.

We are convinced there is much latent public support for housing, far greater in number than those who speak out against it, and we’re working to assemble a large band of those supporters to let elected officials and the public-at-large know that they exist and that local workers need (and deserve) local housing.

We ask local employees to share their stories with the Coalition and decision makers about how the housing crisis is impacting them, their families and their lives. In this way, the silent majority voice of our community will be heard. The volume of this response will send a powerful message to elected officials that it is time to take action to build in-fill housing that is within the financial reach of our local employees.

The objective of the Public Outreach Campaign is to give the employees in our community the opportunity to have their voices heard, their stories told. It will give local employees the tools they need to participate in the public process and be a part of developing solutions to the housing crisis. This website provides access to information and education about housing issues, how to participate in the public process, how to speak at a public hearing, how to write a letter or send an e-mail to elected officials

We are seeking increased community involvement by:

  • Giving local employees an informed voice in the housing debate.
  • Increasing public awareness of the negative impacts that the lack of employee housing has on our quality of life.
  • Increasing public awareness of local employee housing successes.

How can you make a difference in solving the housing crisis?

The challenge is to persuade locally elected representatives of cities and the County to remove the barriers to “in-fill housing” so that we can begin building well-designed and appropriately located residences, affordable to our South Coast workforce. To do that, we need YOU – and many like you – to express your support before planning commissions, city councils and the Board of Supervisors in both written and spoken forms of communication.

Coastal Housing Coalition wants to hear your story. How are you affected by the housing crisis? Elected officials and decision-makers need to hear from local employees the challenges they face in trying to secure housing in this area.

For more information on Voices for Housing, please contact us at (805) 570-1250.


Meeting the needs of our local workforce.

One of CHC’s key objectives is to ensure that there is sufficient housing on the south coast to meet the needs of our local workforce (those earning between 120-200% of the area median income). We achieve this by playing an active role in reviewing and commenting on governmental policy such as General Plan updates including Housing Element updates.

We work to ensure that these policy documents support and enable the development of this type of housing whether it be rental or for sale. We also review residential projects within the local jurisdictions and provide support to those projects if they meet our criteria. When supporting a specific policy program or project our Board members will meet with decision makers, write letters and attend hearings where we provide comments.


Speaking Up

At a Public Hearing or Community Workshop


Elected officials need to hear from those most impacted by the housing crisis.

They need to hear your story and the stories of your co-workers, neighbors, friends. It’s time employee housing is made a priority in our community. Your input will help shape the way decision makers develop and implement housing and land-use policy.

Effective Public Testimony

Effective speaking is much like effective writing, with the addition of nerves. In the case of public testimony, what a person is delivering is usually a three-minute (sometimes two) talk. It’s good to remember that it’s natural to be nervous, and few people, if any, ever started speaking in public without having a case of nerves to a varying degree.

Even heroes get nervous – In his inaugural address as our first President, George Washington was “so visibly perturbed that his hand trembled and his voice shook so that he could scarcely be understood,” according to one writer of that time. If mythic figures get nervous, why shouldn’t the rest of us?

If you feel nervous, don’t try to conquer it – use it, recognizing that the people you’re addressing are humans just like you. Besides, they are being paid to listen to you. It might help to remember that, if you pay taxes, and who doesn’t? – the people you’re addressing work for you!

Here are a few tips about preparation and delivery of your comments at a public hearing or community workshop:

Show up, be respectful, be succinct, be clear and tell your own story.

  • Introduction
    Always begin by addressing your audience by their formal titles – for example, “Good evening, Honorable Mayor and Council Members,” etc.
    Then introduce yourself
  • Organization
    Organize your thoughts in advance so your presentation will be lucid, logical and succinct.
  • Be yourself
    If you can, speak from memory (and the heart). However, most of us can’t speak from memory, especially under stress, so you may wish to write down your points either in outline form or in full text.Make frequent eye contact with each of your target audience (assuming we’re talking about a council, board, or commission) so that each of them will know that they are important to you. And – speak from the heart, even if you’re reading.
  • At the lectern
    Have your material written, either outline or full text, with 1.5 to 2 row separation so that it will be easier to follow. If necessary, employ a device (pencil, ruler, 3X5 card) to keep track of where you are in your presentation. Try not to speak too fast, too slow, too loud or too low.
  • Tone
    Be positive, friendly and civil – and natural. Always expect your target audience to be the sort of people you want them to be. Don’t waste time criticizing your opponents during your testimony – it is best not to refer to them at all.
  • Content
    Share how the housing crisis is affecting you and your family.
    Ask elected officials or decision makers to take action in making employee housing a priority.
  • Conclusion
    Summarize the points you made.Provide a written copy of your presentation, preferably in letter form, for the public record.Keep within the established time limit (people sitting for long periods of time bless those who respect time limits).
    Generally, you will be asked to wrap up your comments if you go beyond the time limit.

Tips On Mailing

Your Elected Officials



Although e-mail is a good method of communicating with elected officials, a letter, mailed or faxed, is the most effective communication.

Elected officials realize that every letter they receive generally represents the opinion of many other constituents that did not take the time to write. Letters to public officials need to possess four major ingredients: formality, clarity, civility and brevity. A letter that gets noticed will have the following qualities:

  • Original
  • Neat
  • Correct grammar, syntax
  • Appropriate vocabulary
  • Well-organized
  • Formal/respectful in salutation and address
  • Positive and civil in tone
  • Succinct
  • Find common ground
  • Not overly-dramatic, but candidly honest about impact of a favorable decision on the lives affected by it (yours, your family, your co-workers, your employees)

Address your correspondence correctly:


The Honorable First Name Last Name, Council Member or Planning Commissioner
City (or county) of

Dear (Supervisor, Council Member, Mayor, etc)

State who you are and what you are writing about
Use personal or business stationery if possible. Include your name and address and the date on the letter.

Keep your letter short
It should be no more than one page. A typed letter is easier to read.

Get to the Point
Clearly outline the issue of concern to you and what action you would like taken.

Personalize your letter
Your letter carries more weight when the elected official knows you have taken the time to write a personal letter

Tell Your Story
Tell how the housing crisis is affecting you. Are you affected by the lack of housing available for the local workforce? Are you making sacrifices to live and work in Santa Barbara? Do you commute a long distance to your job? How does this affect you and your family?

Be courteous
Always be polite – your letter will not carry as much weight if you are insulting.
Don’t bother to dispute your opposition’s position. Instead, state your position clearly with facts to back it up.

Ask for Action
Ask the elected official to take action.
Elected officials need to hear from the community in order to represent them properly.

An ineffective letter:

Sarah Jones
City of Bella Vista City Council

Ms. Jones:

There’s going to be a housing project you have to vote on in September. It’s called the Main Street project, and will have apartments and condos that someone like me can afford. If you don’t support this project, you’re basically saying you don’t want me to live here.

I know there’s been a lot of opposition to this project, but consider the source: just a bunch of “I’ve got mine” NIMBY’s! Don’t pay any attention to them, because they’re just thoughtless, uncaring people. They probably didn’t vote for you, anyway.

If you don’t vote for this project, I’m going to be really upset, and you can expect to hear from me at future city council meetings.

Marsha Halfbright


How to Contact

Your Elected Officials


City of Santa Barbara

City Hall
735 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
(805) 963-0611
Fax: (805) 564-5475

Mayor Cathy Murillo
(805) 564-5322                                      

Council Members

Cathy Murillo
(805) 564-5322                              

Jason Dominquez
Councilmember - District One
(805) 564-5324

Randy Rowse
Mayor Pro Tempe                                                            Councilmember - District Two
(805) 564-5325

TBD                                                                              Councilmember - District Three

Kristen Sneddon
Councilmember - District Four
(805) 564-5321

Eric Friedman
Councilmember - District Five
(805) 564-5320

Gregg Hart
Finance Committee Chair
Councilmember - District Six
(805) 564-5319


City of Carpinteria

City Hall
5775 Carpinteria Avenue
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(805) 684-5405
Fax: (805) 684-5304

Mayor Fred Shaw

Vice-Mayor Wade Nomura

Councilmember Al Clark

Councilmember Gregg Carty

Councilmember J. Bradley Stein



County of Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors
105 E. Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

1st District: Das Williams, Vice Chair

Phone: (805) 568-2186
Fax: (805) 568-2534

2nd District: Janet Wolf

Phone: (805) 568-2191
Fax: (805) 568-2283

3rd District: Joan Hartmann, Chair

Phone: (805) 568-2192
Fax: (805) 568-2883
Solvang: (805) 686-5095
Fax: (805) 686-8133

4th District: Peter Adam

Lompoc: (805) 737-7700
Santa Maria: (805) 346-8407

5th District: Steve Lavagnino

Santa Maria: (805) 346-8400
Fax: (805) 346-8404


City of Goleta
6500 Hollister Avenue, Suite 120
Goleta, CA 93117

Mayor Paula Perotte
(805) 961-7536
Mayor Pro Tempore Stuart Kasdin
(805) 961-7539
Councilmember Roger S. Aceves
(805) 961-7538
Councilmember Michael T. Bennett
 (805) 961-7535

Councilmember Kyle Richards
(805) 961-7537