Low Income Apartments and Affordable Housing For Rent in Santa Barbara County, CA

Discover affordable housing in Santa Barbara County where there are 101+ housing opportunities based on income and household needs like accessible units for seniors or persons with disabilities. Find and apply to these low income apartments now.

1313 Castillo

1313 Castillo St, Santa Barbara, California 93101

The Hourly Wage Needed to Afford A Safe, Modest 2 Bed Apartment In Santa Barbara County, California
$56.70/hour
$40.70 (+254%) more than California minimum wage and $49.45 (+682%) more than the Federal minimum wage.
Learn More About Santa Barbara County, California Affordable Housing ↓

What HUD offices serve Santa Barbara County, California?

Public Housing Agencies operate federally assisted affordable housing programs at local levels on behalf of HUD. Notably, housing agencies are responsible for managing Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, and Project-Based Voucher waiting lists within their jurisdiction.

Operates the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), Public Housing programs for Santa Barbara County, California.

Go to the California Public Housing and Low-Income Apartments Waiting Lists page for openings near Santa Barbara County.

How many renters live in Santa Barbara County, California?

The County of Santa Barbara County has 443,837 people living in 150,851 households.

There are 205,768 renters living in 74,286 renter households in this County. Renters make up 46.36 percent of the population living in Santa Barbara County.

What is the rental market like in Santa Barbara County, California?

There are an estimated 160,910 housing units in the Santa Barbara County area. Of these, 76,888 units are rental homes, making up 48 percent of the housing market. For every renter household in Santa Barbara County, California, there are 1 rental units.

What is the vacancy rate for rentals in Santa Barbara County?

The rental vacancy rate in Santa Barbara County is 2 percent. This is a lower than average vacancy rate. When rental vacancy rates are low there are fewer available units. Rents tend to be higher as more people compete for scarce housing.

How many rental units are in Santa Barbara County for each bedroom size?

Occupied Rental Units by Size in Santa Barbara County
Studio One-Bedroom Two-Bedroom Three-Bedroom Four+ Bedrooms
7,347 17,733 27,781 16,523 4,174
Occupied Rental Units by Size in Santa Barbara County

A large number of apartments in Santa Barbara County have two or fewer bedrooms. Seniors and young professionals especially may have more success finding an apartment that meets their needs.

How many renter households in Santa Barbara County are overburdened by housing costs?

Among renter households in this market, 55 percent have housing cost burden. Further, 30 percent of households are extremely rent overburdened. When renters pay too much for their housing, it leaves little money for other necessities like food, clothes, or medicine.

The federal government says that renters are cost-burdened if they pay more than a third of their monthly income for rent and utilities.

How Much Is Rent in Santa Barbara County

Depending on size, the Fair Market Rent - HUDs measurement of the cost of an average housing unit - ranges from $2,330 to $4,528. FMRs are updated annually by HUD for every city and county nationwide.

Bed Size 2024 Fair Market Rents
Studio $2,330
One BR $2,651
Two BR $2,994
Three BR $3,996
Four BR $4,528
2024 Fair Market Rents in Santa Barbara County, California

How many units are rented at Fair Market Rent (FMR) in Santa Barbara County?

Renters with a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher must select a home that is at or below the area’s Fair Market Rent. Markets with a large share of units above FMR tend to have longer search times to find a qualified unit, while those with a large share of units below FMR tend to have more choices and shorter search times. The share below FMR can vary by size of unit, as shown in the table below.

These are the approximate number of units renting below the FMR in this market:

Unit Size Count of Units Below FMR Percentage of Total Units Below FMR
Studio 3,373 46 percent
One BR 7,468 42 percent
Two BR 5,666 20 percent
Rental Units Below FMR in Santa Barbara County, California

How many affordable rental units are in Santa Barbara County?

There are a variety of federal affordable housing programs serving households in Santa Barbara County, California including the following:

Federal Program Unit Count
Low Income Housing Tax Credit 4,055
Public Housing 173
Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance 600
Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly 112
Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities 39
USDA Section 515 Rural Rental Housing 65
USDA Section 514 Farm Labor Housing 152
Tracked Units by Federal Program in Santa Barbara County, California

Rental units may be funded in part by multiple federal programs.

Income Based Apartments in Santa Barbara County, California

Santa Barbara County features 1,800 income based apartments. Tenants of income based apartments typically pay no more than 30% of their income towards rent and utilities.

Low Rent Apartments in Santa Barbara County, California

There are 3,884 rent subsidized apartments that do not provide direct rental assistance but remain affordable to low income households in Santa Barbara County.

Housing Choice Vouchers in Santa Barbara County, California

On average, Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers pay Santa Barbara County landlords $1,100 per month towards rent. The average voucher holder contributes $500 towards rent in Santa Barbara County.

The maximum amount a voucher would pay on behalf of a low-income tenant in Santa Barbara County, California for a two-bedroom apartment is between $2,695 and $3,293.

Sourced from federal housing data and AffordableHousingOnline.com research.