Homebuyers - How To Apply

Applications are provided by the Division of Housing and Community Development, Property Management program, and accepted only when a unit is available and an offer to purchase has been accepted by the Seller.  Please write to PropertyManagement@co.santa-barbara.ca.us or call (805) 568-3534 for an application.

To receive notification when a resale unit becomes available for purchase, please print and submit a fully completed Interest List Sign Up Form.  Mail completed forms to the address provided below, or scan and email the form to PropertyManagement@co.santa-barbara.ca.us.  You must submit a new interest list form every 6 months to remain on the list.  Note: This is not a waiting list, is not an application, and does not guarantee qualification. 

Mail or deliver completed forms to: 

Housing & Community Development
ATTN:  Interest List Sign-up
123 E. Anapamu St., 2nd Floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Or scan and email to: PropertyManagement@co.santa-barbara.ca.us

Please note all County rules are subject to change at anytime without prior notice in order to maintain the integrity of the Affordable Housing Program.


Qualification Requirements

The general Affordable Housing "Qualification Rules" are listed below to assist you in self-determining whether your household may qualify for an affordable unit with the County of Santa Barbara.  Please note additional rules apply and all information will be verified by the County of Santa Barbara. 

  • All household members cannot currently own residential real estate or have an interest in any other residential real estate (must be a first time homebuyer).
  • All household members cannot have owned or had an interest in any other residential real estate in the past three years.
  • All household members must have the right to permanently reside in the U.S.
  • Full-time residency or full-time employment in the County of Santa Barbara for a minimum of 6 months prior to submitting an application.
  • Applicants must have current full-time employment and have held consistent full-time employment for the previous 2 years.
  • All applicants must satisfy the County's "financial independence" requirement.  See  Glossary for definition.
  • Your household must fall below the available unit's designated maximum allowable income limit as determined by the  Income Guidelines.
    Please note that these Income Guidelines apply solely to this department.  If you require Income Guidelines for the Housing Authority or for an individual city, please contact them directly.
  • The program limits the amount of assets a household can have, as determined by the purchase price of the home and the respective income category.
  • Purchasers must have cash funds available to make a minimum 5% down-payment and pay all closing costs (this amount can be  gifted). 
  • Must meet the minimum and maximum household size requirements.  The number of bedrooms determines the required minimum number of people in the household.  The maximum number of people is calculated based on 2 people per bedroom, plus 1 additional person in the household.  For example, a 2 bedroom unit is for a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 5 people.  A 3 bedroom unit is for a minimum of 3 people and a maximum of 7 people.


The County does not provide financial mortgage nor down-payment assistance in order to purchase an affordable unit. Purchasers must obtain their own mortgages through a federally insured lender (FDIC lender).
The County will not allow mortgages on a unit that contains the following:

  • A pre-pay penalty or a balloon payment
  • An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)
  • A co-signer
  • An interest only loan
  • Contains a 1st and 2nd Deed of Trust
  • The Loan-to-Value ratio exceeds 95% of the affordable purchase price   

For an additional source to determine how much you can afford:
Click on the following link for a simple  mortgage calculator.

Costs and Fees

The Maximum Affordable sales price includes a real estate agent's or broker's commission. In a resale, the current Owner (seller) cannot require the purchaser to pay any commissions or other costs of the sale typically paid by the seller of residential real property.  Additional guidelines regarding fees for an affordable home are outlined below:

Seller's costs include:

  • Seller's agent fee (reasonable)
  • Half the cost of any escrow fees  

Costs that can be split between the Seller and Buyer include:

  • Title Insurance
  • Loan fees
  • Home inspection fees
  • Termite reports
  • Related repairs

Additionally, appliances purchased by the Owner that were not included when they bought their home can be sold outside of escrow under the following terms:

  • New buyers may decline to purchase these items without jeopardizing the sale
  • The current seller may not charge for an appliance that was included within their initial sale, but replaced due to maintenance
  • Costs of upgrades (examples include, but are not limited to: new flooring, fixtures, paint, cabinets, lighting, window treatments, etc.) cannot be added to the affordable purchase price of the home and is strictly prohibited from being sold within or outside of escrow

Affordable House-Hunting Resources

Searching for an affordable unit?  Below are suggestions of places to look:

  • HCD's Residential Property Management Division's  Resale Units webpage
  • Inclusionary Housing-Questions or Concerns:  (805) 568-3529
  • Contact  HCD's Residential Property Management Division
  • Santa Barbara Craigslist, Housing section ( http://santabarbara.craigslist.org/)

Note: The information contained in this website is subject to change at anytime without prior notice