Community Housing Office: General Information

Who We Are

  • One-stop resource for rental housing information and dispute resolution
  • Experienced staff answer questions and provide guidance regarding rental rights and responsibilities
  • Services available to students, faculty, staff, and property providers

Services We Offer

  • Off-Campus Rental Listings
  • Landlord/tenant, neighbor, and roommate dispute resolution
  • Mediation Program
  • Advice and information about rental rights and responsibilities for tenants and property providers
  • Educational Workshops
  • Publications + forms
  • Move-in and Move-out Videotaping

Our Mission

In support of the academic mission of UCSB we provide services to the campus community to promote access to safe, secure, and comfortable living situations in an accessible, comfortable, collaborative, and respectful environment where we value human connection with those we serve and with each other.

The Mission of the Community Housing Office has five elements

  • We guarantee high-quality customer service to each individual that we serve.
  • We empower renters by providing them with accurate and reliable housing information, with constructive skills, and with knowledge of their rights and responsibilities.
  • We work collaboratively with owners and renters, both to augment the quantity of housing listings and to improve the quality of rental housing in the surrounding community.
  • We work to ensure equal access and opportunity for everyone as detailed in our educational equity plan.
  • We facilitate clear communication between all parties in the rental housing community.

To fulfill all five elements of our mission statement... 

  • We constantly assess and improve the quality and scope of Community Housing Office publications and information.
  • We sponsor educational programs designed to facilitate successful tenancies.
  • We consolidate statistical and other research materials tracking trends in the rental housing market.
  • We enhance communication and rapport between students (tenants) and property providers by providing mediation and videotaping services.
  • We develop outreach efforts that will expand the supply of rental housing available in the surrounding community for the UCSB community.
  • We practice teamwork. We consider everyone associated with our office to be members of our team including students, faculty, staff, property providers, and the rental housing community.
  • We update our educational equity plan annually to address the needs of under-represented communities. 

Location & Contact Information

 Educational Workshops 

Twice a year, in Winter and Spring, CHO hosts workshops in the residence halls to inform students about renting in the community. All students are welcome. 

Rental Advice & Information

Seek advice and find information to answer a variety of complex housing questions. This on-line center aims to help with resolving roommate conflicts and issues with property providers.
Rental Advice & Information


Mediation is a process in which people who have a dispute can meet with the support of trained mediators. Parties can communicate openly and create ways to resolve conflicts. When mediation is appropriate: 

  • conflict with apartment-mates
  • neighbor-to-neighbor problems
  • landlord/tenant issues

All mediation services are confidential, impartial, informal, and free. Please contact us to schedule a mediation consultation. Also, see our Mediation Brochure for more information.

Move-in & Move-out Videotaping

  • Helps protect your security deposit when it is time to move out
  • Security deposit disputes are the #1 advising issue at the Community Housing Office
  • The deposit amount that the owner or manager returns will be decreased by costs of cleaning and repairing damage for which you can be held accountable
  • Non-biased documentation of rental units on move-in and move-out are best way to avoid disputes
  • Community Housing Office staff provide professional videotaping services to UCSB students, staff, and faculty.
  • Videos cost $15 each or $25 for a Move-In/Move-Out package
  • Arrangements must be made 5-days in advance
  • Location: to schedule your video visit the Community Housing Office on the third floor of the UCen above the bookstore.
  • Schedule online or come to the office in the UCen on the 3rd floor.

Community Living Options

  • Shared Housing: Most students have roommates to deal with high rents. Tenants who need roommates and roommates who need rooms advertise with the Community Housing Office.
  • Apartments and Duplexes
  • Condominiums and Houses
  • Rooms in Private Homes: private home-owners in Santa Barbara rent rooms to UCSB students, staff and faculty.
  • Santa Barbara Student Housing Co-Op
  • Sorority and Fraternity Houses
  • UCSB Undergraduate Apartments
  • UCSB Family Student Housing
  • UCSB Residence Halls

 Planning Your Budget

  • First month's rent and security deposit
  • Last month's rent to be paid in advance (in some cases)
  • Start-up costs for utility deposits, household necessities, and linens
  • Allocations for transportation, entertainment, and clothing
  • Food costs average $195.00 per month
  • Utility costs average $100.00 per month for apartments (gas, electricity and cable)
  • Water and trash service are usually included in the rent
  • Transportation: Students usually bike or walk to campus from Isla Vista. Bus service is free and available throughout Santa Barbara

 Note: Most apartments in Isla Vista, Goleta, and Santa Barbara are unfurnished.

Legal Issues

For legal questions please consult Rental Advice and Information. You may review the knowledge database for answers to your questions or submit a request for advice.

The Costs of Living in Santa Barbara

2013 Average prices for Apartments in Isla Vista, Goleta and Santa Barbara

Room Type Isla Vista Goleta Santa Barbara
Studio $1150 $1105 $1059
1 Bedroom $1215 $1252 $1710
2 Bedroom $2679 $2280 $2409
3 Bedroom $3568 $2560 $2962
4+ Bedroom $4675 $3186 $3877
Room in Home* $750 $709 $831




*Rooms in private (non student) homes usually include utilities.