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County supervisors vote 4-0 to change eviction process at CBC

The CBC and The Sweeps’ pool that residents can lounge around on April 4, in Isla Vista Calif.

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 on April 6 to pass an urgency ordinance that slows down the process for residents of CBC and The Sweeps from being evicted by the complex’s new owner.

On March 16, over 800 residents within the 264 units of the CBC and The Sweeps apartment complex, located in Isla Vista,  received a letter of eviction giving tenants a specific date or 60 days to vacate their home.  

Many of the people who belong to the complex are students attending UCSB or City College as well as families that work in the Isla Vista and Goleta area. 

The CBC and The Sweeps was bought by a company called Core Spaces. The company purchased the complex with intent of evicting all residents and only compensating $7,000 or three months of rent, whichever is of greater value. The mass eviction could potentially leave hundreds of people without a home or scramble to find a new home that will possibly be exponentially more expensive.

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Katy Darnaby, managing director of marketing and communications at Core Spaces responded by email to explain why the company needs to evict all tenants.

“As we took ownership of CBC and The Sweeps, we immediately saw the need for substantial renovations in the building. At the end of the day, it came down to the safety of tenants,” Darnaby said. “Our planned work is necessary to improve the building’s quality and condition and requires that we begin renovations as soon as possible. This work cannot reasonably be accomplished in a safe manner with tenants in place and requires them to vacate the residential property.” 

Sydney Adam, a 19-year-old UCSB student studying psychological brain science, is currently living at the complex and was planning on releasing her apartment before the eviction notice was given.

“The unit my roommate and I are going to be moving into, [the person that already lives there] says he pays $1,300 for the apartment right now, and next year my roommate and I are going to be paying $2,300,” Adam said. 

From the beginning of the meeting Supervisors Das Williams and Laura Capps vocalized that they both were in complete support for the passing of the urgency ordinance.

“This is a lot more than just about one housing complex. This is about the rent here in Santa Barbara, which we know is the highest across the country for any small city, this is about 800 people,” Capps said. “This is about who we are as a community.”

Following the board’s brief summary and questions of the proposed ordinance, came the time for public comment. There were 48 requests to make a public comment for the Thursday meeting. 

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Christa Conry, an attorney with Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA), spoke on the matter. 

“It’s already difficult to find any affordable housing in the county. These tenants will face a uniquely challenging prospect of finding anything that could replace the home that they already have. It would potentially be an insurmountable hurdle that could lead to homelessness,” Conry said in hopes of urging the board to pass the ordinance. 

Williams expressed that the residents of Santa Barbara County have no alternatives for housing because there are no adequate and affordable options to obtain. He took a strong stance against corporate greed and that he does not want that to affect the city.

“If I am reduced to being a speed bump in the path of corporate greed, then I am going to be the most inconvenient, spikey, rough, broken, tire damaging speed bump that I can be,” Williams said to the room filled with Santa Barbara residents. 

Chelsea Lancaster, a Student Program Advisor at City College, spoke about corporate landlords not being attached to the community and only caring about putting a coin in their own pocket.

“This community does not function because people cannot live where they work,” Lancaster said. “This is about profit over people.” 

After public comments came to a close, the board discussed the details of the urgent ordinance at hand. Discussions, questions, and debates were filled within the four walls.

A decision was made.

Board members Williams, Capps, Joan Hartmann, and Steve Lavagnino voted “I” in support of passing the urgency ordinance for just cause for residential evictions with a 4-0 vote. 

“I fundamentally believe that recognizing our own hypocrisy is the only way to achieve ethical and moral public policy,” Williams said.

Correction: April 6

An earlier version stated that the vote to pass the ordinance was 4-1, however it was 4-0. The headline was also changed from 4-1 to 4-0. An earlier version also stated that the ordinance’s passing would mean it would prevent the eviction however it only slows down the process of evicting.

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