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Home Buying Fair to help employees stay local

Coastal Housing Partnership is hoping to create a path to home ownership for local employees this weekend at the Home Buying Fair.

The fair takes place at the Earl Warren Showgrounds on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Warren Hall.

There will be more than 40 exhibitors and home buying how-to sessions. The goal is to help people live where they work and to retain the workforce in both Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Sam and Kelly Ferguson were glad to bring their newborn boy Grover to their very first home just a month after they moved in.

“If you told us a year ago that we would own a home in downtown Santa Barbara, I would have been totally flabbergasted by that thought because we just had no idea that was possible,” said Kelly.

Buying a home can be a little overwhelming but the couple was able to get the help they needed and even save about $4,000 with the help of the Coastal Housing Partnership.

“Our goal is to make it easier for local employees to become homeowners,” said Corby Gage, executive director.

Sam is a paramedic with AMR and Kelly is a nurse at Cottage Hospital. Cottage is one of the more than 40 employer partners that pay into the housing program.

“It’s huge,” said the Fergusons in unison. “It’s a great benefit.”

Coastal Housing helped them couple through the whole process from real estate agents, lenders and everything in between.

“It’s daunting when you first go in. I mean we didn’t know anything about real estate, anything about all the legal processes. Anything. And they kind of walk you through and they hook you up with the people you need to be talking to,” said Sam.

Now the family has a home they can call their own.

“That’s what we live for, that is absolutely exciting for us. We hear those stories every day and we feel we’ve really accomplished something and accomplished our mission,” said Gage.

Saturday’s event is expected to draw a crowd of about 500.

The public is invited to attend. Admission is free if your employer is a member of the Coastal Housing Partnership and $5 for all others.

Click here for more information on the Coastal Housing Partnership.


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