About Us


Isla Vista Tenants Union challenges and transforms unjust housing conditions and housing policies through empowerment-based education, leadership development, and grassroots community organizing. We believe that alliances and partnerships are vital to building a strong pro-tenant community, and we actively seek to engage groups that support tenants’ rights.


The Isla Vista Tenants Union will empower tenants through education, advocacy, and grassroots organizing. We will promote tenant interests and act against violations of tenants’ rights. IVTU will work with local groups, the County, the University, and businesses to realize its mission.


The Isla Vista Tenants Union (IVTU) is an organization serving the interests of Isla Vista tenants. We recognize the diversity of our community, and we strive to meet the different needs of our members while uniting our common interests as tenants. We educate tenants on their rights and responsibilities, and we act as a resource when problems occur. We believe people should live without the suffering that arises from discrimination, retaliation, or neglect. We reach out to property managers, the University, elected officials, local groups, and individuals to realize our vision and address pressing tenant issues. In providing a service to the tenants of Isla Vista, we also hope to build a united, educated, and proactive community.


Our work is grounded in a strong conviction that those facing housing problems must be the leaders of efforts to transform housing conditions and neighborhoods. We encourage students and permanent residents to work together to create a better community and to mobilize for desired community changes.

Brief History

Isla Vista tenants have been working together to demand respect and fair treatment from landlords, the County, and the University as far back as the early 1970s. While the level of tenant organizing has fluctuated in the past, the current Isla Vista Tenants Union was built by a surge of action after 36 Latino families were evicted from the Colonial, Balboa, and Cortez apartment buildings in the summer of 1998. A coalition of students and evicted tenants recognized the need to educate and empower tenants, and a year later formed the Isla Vista Tenants Union under UCSB Associated Students.



IVTU empowers renters by providing them with information about their tenants’ rights, responsibilities, and resources. We provide individual counseling aimed at providing tenants with constructive knowledge and skills to ensure successful tenancies and help in the resolution of tenant-landlord conflict.

Community Alliances & Partnerships

IVTU realizes that in order to have a lasting impact within the community, we need to forge alliances and partnerships with other organizations that support tenant education and empowerment. We sponsor educational programs designed to inform the community of tenants’ rights and address local tenancy issues of concern. We also collaborate with neighborhood-building organizations and networks to foster a stronger sense of a united community.

Take a look at some of our partners below!

Tenant Education and Resources

  • Associated Students Legal Resource Center (ASLRC)
  • Community Housing Office (CHO)
  • Legal Resource Center of Santa Barbara County (LRC)
  • Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative (SBSHC)

Tenant’s Rights Advocacy

  • The Fund for Santa Barbara
  • P.U.E.B.L.O.
  • Strategic Actions for a Just Economy

Community Network

  • Chilla Vista
  • Isla Vista Community Relations Committee
  • Isla Vista Project Area Committee
  • Isla Vista Youth & Family Network
  • UCSB Associated Students