June 5, 2020
Dear Santa Barbara Community Members:
Across the country, citizens are protesting the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black lives senselessly taken in moments of racially driven brutality. These ongoing acts of violence have provoked a historic level of protest, a response to the pervasive injustices committed over the course of this nation’s history against Black people.
These events have invoked a range of emotions that are difficult for many of us to process, and we struggle to find the words to meaningfully address the wrongdoings that continue to exist in our society. A desire for change compels many public agencies to work toward dismantling racism in our environments. As an affordable housing provider, there is no way for us to address racial injustice without addressing decades of housing discrimination in our country. Our work begins by building a system that upholds human dignity in our own community.
Providing Black members of the Santa Barbara community — alongside households of all colors, ethnicities, and nationalities — with a safe, quality place to call home is at the core of all that we do. We are committed to supporting our clients with opportunities to choose where they live, and to improve the quality of their lives through education and professional advancement programs.
Our agency is committed to being an organization grounded in anti-racism, whose staff, management, and board of commissioners are committed to housing projects, processes, and outcomes that are just for all. We are committed to inclusivity, and we pledge to create better opportunities to hire, support, and advance the careers of employees of color, and to promote more inclusive and diverse representation on our Board of Commissioners to better reflect our community and who we serve.
We are committed to having open and honest conversations on how we can do better. I encourage staff, residents, participants, landlords, and community members to reach out to me directly at RFredericks@hacsb.org to share your thoughts.
The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara is committed to raising our voices with words that show each other and the community that we stand tall in the struggle against bias and hate. However, we know that it is our actions, and not our words, and what we do in the days, weeks, and years ahead that will ultimately make a difference in the dismantling of racism within our community and beyond.
HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE
CITY OF SANTA BARBARA