Community News

OCBC Supports Establishing an Orange County Housing Trust

by: Byron de Arakal
Posted: June 21, 2018

IRVINE...Acknowledging Orange County's unprecedented homeless crisis, Orange County Business Council has unanimously voted to support pending state legislation to establish the Orange County Housing Trust (OCHT), a joint powers authority tasked with funding housing specifically to alleviate homelessness.

"In just five years Orange County has seen a 53 percent increase in its unsheltered homeless population," said Lucy Dunn, OCBC president and CEO. "The crisis has public health and safety ramifications in addition to hurting the county's image as a desirable place to live and work.  We have a social responsibility to put in place a comprehensive strategy that provides permanent supportive housing with an integrated system of care for our most vulnerable residents."

The bill – AB 448 – was introduced by Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-69th) and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-65th) and is co-sponsored in the state Senate by senators Pat Bates (R-36th), Robert Hertzberg (D-18th), John Moorlach (R-37th) and Janet Nguyen (R-34th). It represents a regionally-focused, comprehensive solution to the county's homeless crisis shared among the County and its 34 cities.

AB 448 will create a financial and funding mechanism for homelessness solutions, including but not limited to the planning and construction of permanent supportive housing, crisis stabilization units, mental and physical health facilities, rapid re-housing and emergency beds. The trust may accept public and private sector funding contributions.

Under the legislation, the OCHT would not have authority to regulate land use in cities or in unincorporated Orange County. It also would not have power to exercise any authority to levy, or advocate or incentivize the levying of any fee, tax or other exaction related to development projects. The trust would be governed by a board of directors consisting of representatives from the county, cities within the county and other community stakeholders.

It will be guided by a housing funding strategy and business plan addressing an immediate need for 2700 permanent supportive housing units, spread proportionally across all thirty-four cities and unincorporated areas in Orange County. The establishment of a single, city/county entity will bring coordinated focus to resolving the issues of chronic homelessness countywide

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