featured graphic for news of Orange County after COVID-19

Board of Supervisors approves Orange County Housing Finance Trust Joint Powers Agreement

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved the Orange County Housing Finance Trust Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with elected officials from Mission Viejo, Huntington Beach and Fullerton present.

“Orange County has set a precedent across the country on fiscally responsible ways to build partnerships with our cities and stakeholders to address homelessness and housing affordability,” Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District Supervisor, said during discussion of the agreement.

The Board of Supervisors’ decision establishes the OC Housing Finance Trust to provide and receive funds for housing for those experiencing homelessness and those who are of extremely low, very low and low income within Orange County.

“This truly is a first of its kind JPA that will help bring a level of cooperation between the county, our cities, nonprofit and for profit partners to help create much needed housing stock for our low income and homeless residents,” Supervisor Do said.

The OC Housing Finance Trust will not regulate land use, serve as owner or operator of housing units, impose fees, nor approve a housing project or program if the local governing body does not support it. The agreement balances the need to bring much-needed housing units online while retaining local control in development decisions.

In its efforts to address affordable housing and homelessness, the Board co-sponsored Assembly Bill 448, which authorizes the County and cities in Orange County to create the Orange County Housing Finance Trust. Once AB 448 passed, then-Chairman Andrew Do, First District Supervisor, worked with elected officials and staff from the County and cities to establish an initial framework and draft the proposed bylaws.

Two Supervisors, two countywide elected officials and five city council members will sit on the governing board of the OC Housing Finance Trust.

OC Community Resource’s Housing Funding Strategy set an initial goal of 2,700 new supportive housing units and affordable housing units within six years. Funding sources, such as Proposition 1, Housing for a Healthy California, and Multi-Family Housing Program Supportive Housing, reduced the capital gap to $252 million. The Board also designated $70.5 million in Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) money on top of $25 million No Place Like Home monies already allocated to address this critical priority.

To date, the Board’s support for housing has resulted in funding applications and developer interest of more than 1,000 units of supportive and affordable housing units.

This article was released by the County of Orange.