The Housing Incentive Program ordinance was adopted by City Council in July 2013, as a General Plan initiative intended to provide needed residential development, particularly rental units, in the community. The Program encourages housing by allowing increased densities based on unit size: the smaller the average unit size for the project, the greater the density allowed. Additionally, development standard incentives related to parking, setbacks, and open space are provided to help make the construction of additional residential units possible.
In 2017 the City Council directed staff to initiate certain ordinance amendments to Title 30 of the Santa Barbara Municipal Code regarding the Program. The amendments will be completed in multiple parts.