Increasing Orange County’s Affordable Housing Opportunities

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O.C. Lenders & Investors Forum

Friday, August 16, 2019
7:45 a.m. to 12 noon
Chapman University

Join the Kennedy Commission's 9th Annual Orange County Lenders & Investors Forum 
where affordable housing professionals can network and learn about the latest financing/underwriting trends and financing programs for the development of affordable homes in Orange County. 

For sponsorship opportunities, view HERE.



Hourly Wage Needed to afford $2,037 rent for two-bedroom apartment


State Minimum Wage



Additional homes needed for lower income renters


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 Update

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

Key solutions include the creation of the following:

  • Create a Countywide Affordable Housing Strategic Plan that establishes annual production goals for affordable homes to be developed in each jurisdiction.

  • Pass a County housing bond to create a dedicated source of local funds to catalyze the development of affordable and permanent supportive housing while taking advantage of new State funding.

  • Adopt or increase housing impact fees and commercial jobs/housing linkage fees.

  • Set aside a minimum of 15% of homes in new residential developments to be affordable to very low and low income families in exchange for entitlement concessions and incentives.

  • Establish “Housing Opportunities Zoning” in each jurisdiction that allows multifamily home developments that are 100% affordable to lower income households to be built by-right.

  • Dedicate public land not needed for governmental use for development of affordable housing.

  • Work with the Orange County Housing Trust to maximize the leveraging of new state, regional and private funds to address Orange County’s housing crisis.

  • Protect tenants from displacement by (1) limiting annual rent increases and prohibiting eviction of renters without good cause; and (2) providing legal resources for evictions.

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

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