Orange County Lagging on Supportive Housing Goals

The county is far behind its goal of building 2,700 supportive housing units as the region grows more unaffordable.

1 minute read

December 18, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Three-story tan motel building with tall palm tree in the background

Project Homekey funds the conversion of motels, hotels, and other buildings to supportive housing. | Tupungato / California motel

Orange County is falling short of its goals to house the region’s unhoused residents, reports Nick Gerda in Voice of OC. Five years ago, the county pledged to build 2,700 supportive housing units to address the growing homelessness crisis.

But despite some successful efforts, the county has only built 17 percent of the units it promised. As Gerda explains, “As of this week, a total of 479 permanent supportive housing units have been ‘completed,’ while another 608 are under construction, according to the agency’s data.” Advocates warn that, with homelessness rates continuing to rise and housing costs growing, the slow pace of construction won’t keep up with the number of people needing housing. 

The county could tap into state funding via Project Homekey, a program aimed at supporting the conversion of hotels and other buildings to supportive housing, but that requires action from local leaders. “The county has been working on six motel conversions under Project Homekey grants, totaling 391 units once they’re completed at an unknown date.” Other projects in Anaheim, Costa Mesa, and other Orange County cities, in addition to providing shelter and services for unhoused people, have been credited with increasing safety and saving taxpayers millions.

Thursday, December 15, 2022 in Voice of OC

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