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Santa Barbara Mall Converts into Housing to Ease Housing Crisis

Santa Barbara Mall Converts into Housing to Ease Housing Crisis

Santa Barbara mall

Santa Barbara is known for its fancy vibe and old-school beauty, but now it’s got a big problem with finding affordable places to live. In an unexpected turn, the Santa Barbara mall, La Cumbre Plaza, might just be the answer everyone’s been looking for. Turning the mall into homes is a fresh and smart way to help people afford to live in the city.

Santa Barbara facing housing crisis as rent skyrockets

The Crisis at Hand

In Santa Barbara, the dream of homeownership and affordable living is slipping away for many. With rents skyrocketing, even those earning significantly above the median household income find themselves priced out. The city’s essential workers, including police officers, teachers, and doctors, confront the stark reality of a housing market that leaves little room for affordability.

Santa Barbara mall
Santa Barbara tackles its housing affordability issue by converting La Cumbre Plaza mall into residential spaces. Learn more about this innovative solution.

A Visionary Project: Santa Barbara Mall Conversion

La Cumbre Plaza used to be a busy mall, but now it’s seen as a chance for something new. Local developers have big plans to turn it into a place where people can live, aiming to build a lively neighborhood that tackles the lack of affordable homes. They’re planning to add lots of new houses, hoping to make sure Santa Barbara can keep growing without losing what makes it special.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the Santa Barbara mall project is a beacon of hope, it navigates a sea of challenges. Concerns over traffic, the adequacy of affordable housing units, and the preservation of architectural heritage underscore the complexity of urban redevelopment. Yet, the initiative stands as a testament to Santa Barbara’s commitment to innovation and sustainability.

See Also
Mixed-Income Housing Project


The Santa Barbara mall redevelopment project represents more than just a solution to local housing needs; it offers a blueprint for how communities across California, and perhaps the nation, might address similar crises. By reimagining the potential of underutilized spaces, Santa Barbara leads the way in creating a more inclusive and livable future for all its residents.