On the heels of a survey reporting the lack of affordable housing in the Santa Barbara and coastal region, UCSB faculty and staff have been asked to fill out a questionnaire about their current and future housing needs.
Sponsored by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Faculty & Staff Housing, the questionnaire, which is due tomorrow, was sent out a few weeks ago. After they are compiled in June, the committee will send the results to the UC Regents, as well as the UCSB North Campus Housing Project developer in order to accommodate whatever need is presented.
Advisory committee chair and geography professor Joel Michaelsen said the university has not released a faculty and staff housing survey since the 1990s.
“We need to have an idea of what the [current] demand is,” Michaelsen said.
As the Central Coast Survey released last week suggested about many of the area’s residents, Michaelsen said he assumes most faculty and staff who have come to UCSB in the past seven or eight years cannot afford to buy housing in the area.
“I think it’s clear that the cost of housing has outrun our salaries,” he said.
For the Central Coast Survey, UCSB’s Social Science Survey Center/Benton Survey Research Lab interviewed more than 1,000 Santa Barbara and Ventura County residents via telephone, and discovered that several local residents were feeling financially constrained by their housing costs.
In a UCSB press release, economics professor and survey center director Jon Sonstelie said the Central Coast survey results show that most people find affordable housing to be among the largest problems in their counties. However, he said most permanent residents did not feel economically deprived as a result of their housing situations.
According to the survey, 42 percent of participants who have lived in Santa Barbara or Ventura for less than four years reported that that their finances were constrained by housing costs, but only 26 percent of survey participants who have lived in their residences for more than 20 years reported housing costs as sources of financial stress.
Sonstelie said he believes the Central Coast Survey will help improve the counties involved.
“The findings of this survey will, we feel, be very helpful to community and government officials, as well as business leaders, as they make decisions and shape policies in these two counties,” Sonstelie said in the press release.
The full text of the 38 page Central Coast Survey report is available on the Social Science Survey Center’s website at www.survey.ucsb.edu/ccs.
Michaelsen said the staff survey is more detailed than the Central Coast Survey in classifying types of housing per region. Once the results are tallied, Michaelson said, the North Campus Housing Project developer will use them to help create a housing plan to be presented before the California Coastal Commission for approval by summer 2006. He said the housing project contains construction plans for 215 housing units.