Santa Barbara faces housing crisis as rents soar
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — Santa Barbara is currently facing a housing crisis.
It’s getting harder and harder for people like Lizzy Hogensen to find affordable housing in Santa Barbara.
“I started looking for a place as soon as I accepted my offer from UC Santa Barbara in the spring, and I would open Zillow and all the other sites online. And there was just no inventory, really,” Lizzy said.
Lizzy begins her doctoral program at UCSB. But she feels frustrated that she cannot afford the cost of living.
According Rent.comthe average apartment rent in Santa Barbara is between $3,545 and $5,850.
This is an increase of around 238% per year for one bedroom, 62% for two bedrooms and around 13% for a studio, according to Rent.comData for was last updated on Tuesday.
A one-bedroom apartment costs an average of $3,545, while a two-bedroom apartment costs an average of $4,345.
“It would just be cheaper for me to get an Airbnb on the nights I needed to be on campus and sit and hope and pray on the grad housing listing,” said Lizzy.
Peter Rupert is a professor at UCSB and director of the Economic Forecasting Project. He says it has to end at some point.
“I think things will slow down. There’s just no way these prices, both house prices and rental prices, could go up 20, 30, 40 or 50 percent a year,” Rupert said.
Rupert explained that without increasing supply, tenants will see no change in rising rents.
He’s not the only one who believes these house prices are unsustainable. Lizzy hopes things will change for her classmates.
If you make housing unaffordable and students can’t afford to live where they go to school, then they can’t go to school or they have to take out more student loans,” Lizzy said. .
For now, Lizzy will be commuting between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara by car or train to attend classes.