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**MEDIA ADVISORY**                                Media Contact: Katrina Sill/Juliana Minsky 805/687-3322

NOT A PUBLIC EVENT – FOR MEDIA ONLY

Housing Authority Celebrates Opening of Innovative Affordable Housing Complex, Artisan Court: “Where Community Begins”

Artisan Court opens its doors to permanently house youth aging out of foster care, special needs groups, and low-income downtown workers

April 08, 2011, Santa Barbara, CAThe Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara recently completed the construction of Artisan Court, its newest innovation in affordable housing specifically designed to serve special needs populations in Santa Barbara. The 56-unit studio apartment development, located at 422 East Cota Street, meets critical community needs by providing a home to three targeted groups: youth aging out of foster care, a group that has experienced homelessness at a local rate of 32% within six months of emancipation; special needs individuals (disabled and formerly homeless); and low-income downtown workers. On Wednesday, April 13th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, media is invited to join select guests at the Artisan Court grand opening ceremony, ribbon cutting, tours, live music, and lunch.

All units have been filled through applications through the Housing Authority and most of the residents will have moved in by April 15th. A waiting list has been established for future residents.

“Artisan Court is both an architectural masterpiece and one of the most significant housing developments we have undertaken during my long tenure at the Housing Authority,” said Rob Pearson, Executive Director/CEO for Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.

MEDIA ADVISORY

WHAT: Artisan Court grand opening ceremony and celebration: The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara’s latest development, a 56-unit apartment complex for low-income community members including youth aging out of foster care, special needs individuals (disabled and formerly homeless), and low-income downtown workers. Celebration includes grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting, live music, light lunch, and tours of the complex.

WHO: Mayor Helene Schneider, City of Santa Barbara; Bill Pavao, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee; Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara Board of Commissioners Chair Barbara Allen and Executive Director and CEO Rob Pearson; Artisan Court’s first residents; invited guests.

WHERE: Artisan Court – 422 East Cota Street, Santa Barbara

WHEN: Wednesday, April 13th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, CEREMONY from 11:30 am to 12:00 pm

CONTACT: Media contact: Katrina Sill/Juliana Minsky, (805) 687-3322, On-site contacts: (206) 349-9844 or (805) 689-6618.

Artisan Court, which began construction in January 2010, is centered around a unique three-courtyard design containing a variety of social and private spaces. Each of 55 studio apartments include a living/sleeping space, full kitchen with breakfast bar, and full bathroom configured in just 450 square feet.  Residents are provided with utilities and high speed internet service free of charge. The 56th unit will be occupied by an on-site manager.

In addition to providing permanent affordable housing to the local special needs community, the complex is also designed to provide on-site supportive services such as group counseling and life-skill coaching in partnership with YMCA Youth and Family Services and PathPoint.

Because many residents are not likely to own the basic essentials to make each unit a place to call home, the Housing Authority – through its nonprofit affiliate Second Story Associates – launched the Adopt-a-Room Campaign to raise funds to provide essentials for the Artisan Court studio apartments. Over 80 community members volunteered their time to outfit each room, personalized to the tenant, with the housewares funded by the community drive. Support is still needed to equip the Artisan Court Community Room with donated computers (in good condition) as well as financial donations to help furnish the room with bookcases and furniture.

Donation are Tax Deductible and can be made online or by mail/in person. To make a contribution, visit www.2nd-story.org or send by mail, payable to “2nd Story Associates,” to Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, 808 Laguna Streeet, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

Key funders of the project are: the City of Santa Barbara, the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Santa Barbara

Red Stone Equity Partners, LLC and the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.  J.P. Morgan Chase is the construction lender.

Architects for the project are Christine Pierron and Mark Wienke of CP +MW:jv, a joint venture architectural studio and McGillivary Construction is the project’s contractor.  The site was formerly occupied by Haagen Printing.

The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara is a local public agency created for the purpose of providing safe, decent, and quality affordable housing and supportive services to eligible persons with limited incomes, through a variety of federal, state, local and private resources. Since 1969, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara has developed and/or secured over 3,000 units of affordable rental housing for Santa Barbara. Please visit the website at www.hacsb.org

Note to editors: Architectural graphics and detailed description of Artisan Court Studios available by request to Katrina Sill/Juliana Minsky (805) 687-3322.

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