Santa Barbara Housing Authority Receives Federal Grant for Artisan Court Rental Assistance

Special funds designated to support programs for homeless people with disabilities

By Katrina Sill for Artisan Court | Published on 05.24.2011

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara and its newest affordable housing development, Artisan Court, is among nationwide recipients of a competitive grant award designated for new housing programs for homeless people with disabilities.

The award is through HUD’s Shelter Plus Care Program, originally created under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Shelter Plus Care funds housing and supportive services on a long-term basis for homeless people with disabilities, primarily those with serious mental illness, chronic problems with alcohol and/or drugs, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or related diseases.

“I am very pleased that the Santa Barbara Housing Authority has received these important federal resources to help the most vulnerable among us get off the streets and into affordable housing,” Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, said. “This funding will have a long-term positive impact on reducing homelessness in our own neighborhoods. The Housing Authority has a dedicated staff that is committed to making our community a better place and I thank them for all of their hard work.”

Public housing agencies in Capps’ 23rd Congressional District spanning Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard and San Luis Obispo received HUD New Project grants totaling $1,046,273.

The Housing Authority opened Artisan Court on April 13 to serve special-needs populations, including youths aging out of foster care, homeless individuals and downtown workers. To qualify for the $234,720 five-year grant, available for new programs only, the Housing Authority will be required to provide an equal amount or more of funding for supportive services to its clients who will receive the rental subsidies.

In 2010, HUD renewed the Housing Authority’s existing Sponsor Based Shelter Plus Care program grant at $556,460, which allows the agency to continue to house approximately 100 individuals suffering from disabling conditions who would otherwise be homeless. The new grant differs from the renewal in that it is project based rather than sponsor based; in this case meaning the new funds will be used only for Artisan Court. The grant will serve four to eight individuals over its five-year term.

“We would like to acknowledge the county’s Housing and Community Developmentprogram for their assistance with the HUD Continuum of Care application process,” said Rob Pearson, executive director and CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara. “The ranking of our application as high need for providing permanent supportive housing helped to move our application through a competitive process.”

The New Project grant awards announced are part of a $216 million HUD program to nearly 700 new homeless throughout the country. Combined with renewal funding announced earlier this year, this represents the most homelessness assistance ever awarded by HUD, including a record $16.4 million to 87 never-before-funded programs in less-populated areas of the country.

— Katrina Sill is a publicist.