The Golden Inn

Golden Inn & Village FAQs:

Facility Information, Services,
and the need for the Golden Inn & Village…



What is  The Golden Inn & Village?

Nothing like The Golden Inn & Village exists in Santa Barbara County or the state; it’s the first of its kind. The Golden Inn & Village is a mixed use development in a neighborhood setting that will provide approximately 150 affordable units for low-income seniors to reside in a comfortable, supportive environment that meets their needs as they age. Services will range from independent to assisted living and memory care to hospice all on one campus.  The programs and services provided will be coordinated in collaboration with multiple community partners and engage the broader community at large, avoiding duplication and leveraging strengths, while multiplying benefits to all.



Constructing the Golden Inn & Village

You may have heard recently that the Golden Inn & Village received $23M in tax credits allocated by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee of the State’s Treasurer’s office.  The tax credits are a function of the low-income housing tax credits program that provides substantial, but not all, equity funding for affordable housing construction. Our partners, the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara and Surf Development Company, were instrumental in applying for and obtaining the tax credits for the project.



What will  The Golden Inn & Village Include?

  • 60 independent living units for low-income seniors
  • 60 units of memory care/assisted living
  • Senior Community Center
  • 27 affordable rental apartments for employees and families
  • Supportive services coordinated with multiple partners
  • “The Seasoned and Saucy Senior Kitchen”, a full professional kitchen
  • Community center (with extended hours for family visits and caregiver respite)
  • Small shops (barber, beauty shop, and other services), staff offices, gardens, and walking paths


The  Neighborhood

The 7.3 acre-plus parcel for the Golden Inn and Village is located on the southeast corner of Refugio Road and Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, California. It sits across the street from the YMCA (which offers senior programs), diagonally from the local high school and a public transportation stop. Also located nearby are a grocery market, restaurants, and churches. The Santa Ynez Cottage Hospital is located a little more than a mile away.


Why  The Golden Inn & Village?

Nearly all of us have an elder loved one. Many know of a senior with no one left to look out for or care for them. Our elders have changing needs, many have fixed incomes and will outlive their savings and investments. Today in the California Tri-Counties of Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo, more than 5,000 people over the age of 75 are living on Social Security alone. Even for those who have lived here for a lifetime, housing is becoming unaffordable.

The Golden Inn & Village is an innovation in maximizing community engagement and resources for the health, safety and dignity of our seniors.


Who will  Benefit?

The Golden Inn & Village was conceived specifically to address the needs of our senior loved ones, parents, friends, neighbors, and especially orphaned seniors – those who have no one left to care for them. It is for seniors who live within our area but with resources dwindling, are forced to survive on little more than Social Security payments – a recent Santa Barbara County study indicates that there are more than 5,000 people over the age of 75 living on Social Security alone in the Tri-Counties.

One Santa Ynez Valley woman explained a scenario lived out by many families:

“As my parents approached 90 and suffered from macular degeneration and increasing frailty, it was the logical step to have them come live with us. Now we care for them, with some help, and it is much less stressful and depressing for all of us to be together in these last years of their lives, however we are worried about running out of money.”

But what about those seniors who do not have family members who can help, and who have few resources of their own? The Golden Inn & Village is the solution for them. Neighbors and caregivers at The Golden Inn & Village become surrogate family. Seniors, friends, and family all find peace of mind. The whole Tri-Counties community benefits with a vibrant, model setting in our midst, where seniors and everyone around them thrive.


How are we  Different?

From Val Verde and Maravilla to Casa Dorinda, Santa Barbara is blessed with a variety of retirement community options with multiple levels of care and support for seniors who can afford to pay. Garden Court in the City of Santa Barbara is the only facility serving low-income seniors, providing affordable housing and a variety of services and amenities. But it does not offer the same spectrum of care provided by for-profit facilities and it has often had a two-year waiting list. The recently launched Santa Barbara Village, adopting the increasingly popular “village model,” is a membership organization that helps seniors remain in their own homes and neighborhoods, through a network of support and service options to meet their individual needs.

None, however, provide affordable housing with the full scope of services planned for The Golden Inn & Village to specifically help vulnerable, low-income seniors.

The Golden Inn & Village is designed to nurture a neighborhood or extended family-like environment. It takes the mixed use campus model of affordable housing to a new level in two phases: Phase I  includes independent living in affordable housing,  affordable employee/family housing, a community center and gardens. Affordable staff housing is not typically included in senior care facilities. Nor are supportive services typically integrated into affordable housing campuses. Seniors will have access to appropriate services and caring providers.

Phase II will include assisted living, memory care, adult day care, and hospice; a place where seniors will never have to move from again as they age in place.


An Aging  Population

In the United States today, there are approximately 70 million seniors, including baby boomers that just turned 65. In the next 20 years that figure is expected to increase to more than 90 million. The number of Californians age 65 and older is projected to double from 4.4 million in 2010 to 8.8 million by 2030
-California Department of Finance, 2007

The over 85 population is also rapidly increasing. Santa Barbara County’s over 85 population increased by 32% from 2000 to 2010
-U.S. Census Bureau


A More Vulnerable  Population

With significant losses in investment income, including pension, 401K, and reduced home values, compounded by continued economic instability, seniors are increasingly at risk of falling into poverty. In 2008, 9.7%, or 3.7 million people, age 65 and older had incomes below the poverty level (U.S. Census Bureau).

• UCLA’s Elder Economic Security Index indicates nearly 40% of Santa Barbara County’s senior population is economically insecure.

• Three separate state sources conservatively estimate that 48% of Santa Barbara County’s senior population is economically insecure, increasing by at least 20% from 2009 to 2013

• UCLA’s Elder Economic Security Index reveals that a staggering number of California elders (1.76 million) are unable to cover the cost of their most basic needs


Increased Demand for Limited Resources

As our aging population lives longer, often with chronic illnesses, disabling conditions, and dwindling resources, we expect significant growth in the need for affordable housing and long-term supportive services.


Affordable Housing

The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara (HACSB) currently has a total of 1,029 affordable rental units, including public housing. HACSB also administers 3,645 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. Each of these programs has a waiting list of several thousand, and more than 500 of those are seniors.

The Santa Ynez Valley has a population of 23,500, with only one affordable housing project of 11 units serving families in the valley. The closest affordable housing (36 units) is in the remote township of Los Alamos, 15 miles away. The township has basic medical services and one small market. In the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County, and throughout our Tri-Counties, there are far more seniors in need of assistance than can adequately be served through the existing facilities.


Supportive  Services

Friendship House, a Santa Ynez Valley non-profit serving Alzheimer’s and dementia patients through memory care units, recently expanded the number of units available – but often has a waiting list. Santa Barbara also suffers a shortage of memory care units with long waiting lists. However, none of these are affordable.

Research shows that in the next 15 years the need for memory care units will double to triple in the U.S. California’s senior population is expected to more than double in the next 20 years and our communities will be particularly affected. As local assisted living and nursing facilities are both beyond their economic reach and have long waiting lists, our vulnerable, low-income elderly often must move outside the area, even outside the state, to secure much needed services. It is imperative that we act now to improve access to affordable housing and supportive services, especially making assisted living and memory care  for our seniors affordable.