POLICY, ADVOCACY & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Increasing Orange County’s Affordable Housing Opportunities

 
 
 
 
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$38.47

Hourly Wage Needed to afford $1,813 rent for two-bedroom apartment

$11.00

State Minimum Wage

 

92,738

Additional homes needed for lower income renters

4,800

people experienced homelessness

 

Orange County's Housing Crisis by the Numbers

Ranked among the top ten least affordable metropolitan areas in the country, Orange County is suffering from an affordable housing crisis. 1 In Orange County, you need to earn at least $158,000 a year to afford a median priced home at $788,000. 2 At this minimum qualifying income, only 21 percent of Orange County households could afford the monthly housing payment of $3,950. 3 The rental market has also taken a hit as Orange County rents reached a record high of $1,885 a month and is projected to get higher. 4

With high housing costs coupled with low vacancy rates, many lower income households struggle to afford and live in the cities they work. In addition, while the number of residents needing affordable homes have continually increased, the number of affordable homes being built has not kept up with the demand.

Orange County’s Housing Emergency and Proposed Solutions

California Housing Partnership in collaboration with the Kennedy Commission has documented the housing conditions facing low-income renters in Orange County.

Key findings include:

  • The elimination of redevelopment in 2012 and exhaustion of state bond funding foreshadowed a 11% rise in homelessness from 2016 to 2017.
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit housing production in Orange County declined 95% in 2017 in anticipation of federal tax reform.
  • When housing costs are considered, Orange County’s poverty rate rises from 11.9% to 21.3%.

Key solutions include the creation of the following:

  • Orange County Affordable Housing and Homelessness Bond to develop affordable housing and permanent supportive housing.
  • County Affordable Housing Strategic Plan that establishes the specific number and type of affordable homes to be developed in each jurisdiction.
     

Listen to Cesar Covarrubias’ Voice of OC podcast: Does OC Need a Housing Bond?

 
 

Making a Difference!

The Kennedy Commission’s work has positively impacted many lower income families in finding an affordable place where they can finally call home. Read their inspiring stories! It’s a reminder of why we need to continue to increase safe, healthy and affordable home opportunities in Orange County.

 
 
 
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The Cost of Homelessness in Orange County

The impacts revealed.

Homelessness in Orange County: The Costs to Our Community Report reveals how much Orange County has spent on providing services to the homeless. Key findings include:

  • $299 million was spent to address homelessness in Orange County

  • Cost savings of approximately $42 million per year if all Orange County chronically homeless were placed into permanent supportive housing

  • Majority of Orange County’s homeless are U.S. citizens and long-term Orange County residents of over 10 years

 
 
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Fair and affordable housing is a basic right for all Americans.
— Nydia Velazquez