City College’s push to pass Measure S has brought up many skeletons in the community’s closet about student housing.
The City College’s fact page cites the 36 percent of students who attended City College last year were from out of the county and were left with the tricky task of finding affordable housing in this picturesque town of Santa Barbara.
The accusations for lack of attention on the matter have been directed at City College, but landlords of Santa Barbara residents have been noticeably absent from the conversations.
Though the community is hyper critical of City College because of the restricted housing situation, The Channels Editorial Board, which is comprised of students who have dealt with almost every type of housing situation, feel it is also the community’s burden to bear.
According to the City College’s website, not one of the 30,687 students enrolled last year lived in a residence owned or operated by City College.
The perception of our school is one of a four-year university. But City College is just that, a city college. Even if the college attempted to solve the issue, it would be nearly impossible because of the horrendously high prices local properties are being sold at. The average one-bedroom in Santa Barbara rents for $1,378.
Harbor Heights, a 97-unit complex nestled between East and West Campus on Cliff Drive, was just sold to an unknown buyer for over $33 million dollars outbidding the City College Foundation after escrow closed in January, setting the record for price per square foot in the city.
If Measure S passes, Santa Barbara homeowners will be taxed $16.35 per $100,000 assessed worth of their property. But the likely situation is that many residents who are also landlords will be passing this tax directly onto their tenants. That means a rent hike for us, the student renters.
With private companies and buyers owning the homes in Santa Barbara, the student housing market is chalk-full of students making landlords dirty rich.
Though the community may focus the attention on City College to mend this suffering part of the system, the Ed Board believes the landlords of Santa Barbara should be making the extra push to accommodate the students that fill their very pockets with cash.
The Editorial Board has encountered almost every type of housing circumstance. From cockroaches to almost unavoidable fees and required expenses, there’s been an overwhelmingly negative review of the local landlords.
With 68 percent of the housing in Santa Barbara being built before 1970, according to the Santa Barbara Independent, many of the rental properties are in need of some serious overhaul. There are homes and apartments that have been functioning simply on temporary fixes while their tenants struggle to pay obscene amounts.
Not all landlords are unpleasant to their tenants. We urge these few to lead by example, or step in and try to spark a change. Students appreciate how you run your residences, which means we take care of them better. When a landlord doesn’t care about their tenants, the tenants in exchange don’t take care of their living space.
While City College is taking the heat for an issue that is not solely theirs in the first place, the Editorial Board is turning the issue onto the community.
If homeowners want to see the college make a change, landlords have to make it possible for it to do so. That means stabilizing the ridiculously off balance rental prices, modernizing and updating, and putting a hold on the hoarding of properties so that a solution could be attempted.
Homeowners and landlords alike will be affected by the tax brought if Measure S passes, but those who believe the students should feel the brunt of the measure have things backwards.
If there is an issue with City College’s student’s need for housing, we should be questioning those who already make the process of renting in this town so difficult.
The views and opinions in this Editorial are those of The Channels Editorial Board and not of the whole City College student body.
Follow The Channels on Twitter @thechannels or email us at [email protected]
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article said that Santa Barbara homeowners will be taxed 16.65 per $100,000 of assessed worth of their property. This has since been corrected.