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Santa Barbara City Council votes to finalize $6 million loan to Housing Authority for Quality Inn purchase

Housing Authority's Quality Inn redevelopment project gets loan from city of Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance at Tuesday's meeting, finalizing a $6 million loan agreement with the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara for the purchase of Quality Inn at 3055 De La Vina Street.

(Courtesy: Kevin McLarty/KEYT)

The matter was the first item on the agenda.

The funding is part of a $13 million dollar project to convert the 34 room motel into studio apartments, by adding kitchenettes to each unit. Construction would include a one bedroom apartment for an on-site manager.

(Courtesy: City of Santa Barbara)

Rob Fredericks, the Housing Authority's CEO and Executive Director, confirmed the 0.56 acre parcel would be dedicated to permanent affordable housing for homeless individuals. The property's tiered, two-story footprint would remain as-is.

Nearby residents in the Samarkand neighborhood, where the motel is located, have expressed concern that the city is steamrolling the project forward with little notice to nearby residents or, community input.

Fredericks hosted a community online meeting last Thursday to address concerns and field questions. A number of residents received the meeting notice in the mail, however, some homeowners said they were not include in the mailing, despite living just yards away from the motel.

"I recognize the need to provide housing for the homeless and low income population in Santa Barbara, " said neighbor Steve Kaplan," My only concern is that the housing authority do a responsible job of adequately screening the potential residence for the facility that they propose, and that they monitor the activities of the residence that are admitted or any dangerous or illegal activity and take a quick action if that occurs."

Once complete, the studios will be eligible for section 8 vouchers for rental assistance.

"There are still concerns," said Fredericks, " but what I can say is you have the strength of the housing authority behind this development and our good neighbor actions that we put into every neighborhood and that is what we are going to be in this neighborhood by redeveloping the Quality Inn."

Councilmember Kristen Sneddon who represents the area has stayed at the Quality Inn.

" I stayed at the quality in multiple times. It is my evacuation home, so Jesusita Fire and Thomas Fire," said Sneddon, "It is a great location."

A longtime worker at the Inn said he learned about the changes on TV.

The work is likely to begin in a couple of months.

Fredericks said applications may be accepted in the fall and it all goes smoothly people could move in by this coming Christmas .

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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