Wide angle shot of a main street running through Isla Vista (1/1672, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — leading lines).

Isla Vista From the Inside Out

A look at environmental effects on housing and the overall neglect of what could be a beautiful beach town.

Wide angle scenery shots of Isla Vista (1/1672, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — leading lines— 1/1304, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — framing).

Pictured above are some of the beautiful views that can be seen when walking through the streets of Isla Vista on a sunny day. What many outside wanderers may not be aware of are the serious and potentially dangerous problems that are occurring because of inevitable environmental effects, and overall neglect by property owners.

Wide angle shots of three separate houses effected by cliff erosion. (1/1637, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — 1/761, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — 1/905, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — rule of thirds)

Many houses in Isla Vista are located right on the edge of a 15–20 foot cliff. Overtime, this cliff has eroded and multiple houses are now hanging over it. Little to nothing has been done to keep these houses sturdy, and even the cement holding them up is slowly wearing away. With such conditions, it is clear these houses will not be standing up much longer. They are a danger to the students residing inside them, and the beaches that they overlook.

Close up on medal pole in a cement block, washed ashore (1/1832, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — in focus background).

To the left, is part of metal post that was originally used to stabilize a concrete foundation. This chunk of metal and concrete is no longer serving a purpose, and instead polluting the beaches that make up the Isla Vista coastline.

What happens when these cliffs erode onto the beach? Trash goes with it. Yes, students must get better at doing their part, but much of it is out of their control. Housing units are being neglected by realty companies and students are in danger of what could come of this.

Medium angle/close up shot of trash washed up and debris from pipes (1/818, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — rule of thirds— 1/120, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — leading lines).

Unfortunately, weathering and erosion are not the only environmental impacts that are effecting these houses. Because Isla Vista is feet away from the ocean, there is a lot of moisture in the air, which can cause for mold to grow throughout houses. If mold is neglected, it can spread rapidly and have serious effects on ones health.

Close up shot of mold growing in Hanna’s bathroom(1/15, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — texture).
“I have lived in Isla Vista for four years, and every single house that I have lived in has had mold in more than one place. It scares me because I know there’s not much I can about it, but I am aware of the longterm effects it can have on my health” Hanna Hairabedian, local Isla Vista resident.
Close up shots of pine needles and debris landing in pipes and fixtures outside Hanna’s home (1/30, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — in focus background— 1/30, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — rule of thirds).

When walking into Hanna’s house, it was clear that she and her roommates have been experiencing much in the way of neglect from their property management. Weathering, erosion, and mold are bound to occur in small beach towns, but what can be done to prevent that? Routine check-ups, sturdier foundations, and in some cases new housing. Below are two examples of new housing complexes that have been built over the last five years. These units are located further away from the unstable cliffs, and have modern and routine renovations.

Wide angle shots of two new complexes in Isla Vista (1/1672, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — 1/1923, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — landscape).
Wide angle shot of a popular look out spot in Isla Vista (1/4245, f/2.2, 25, AWB, HH — landscape).
One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.