U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


Orange County, California, is the second most populated County in Southern California with a population of over 2,400,000.The boundaries of the "urban county" jurisdiction in Orange County include sixteen (16) distinct unincorporated target areas and sixteen (16) participating cities.

The Consolidated Plan was created to develop a strategy and plan of action for the entire Urban County jurisdiction. The Plan establishes five-year priorities for the use of Federal funds through HUD as well as establishing a one-year Action Plan, utilizing both Federal and non-Federal community development and housing funds.

Action Plan

For the Fiscal Year 1995-96, the County's Action Plan provides for a request of HUD Federal Funds totaling $8,256,000 as well as $559,417 in Program Income. In addition, $4,825,000 in other local funds will be provided for a combined community development budget of approximately $13,640,417. These funds will be used for housing and commercial rehabilitation, development of new affordable housing, local economic development, public facilities and improvements, and public service activities.

Citizen Participation

The County published a notice on September 8, 1995 in two widely circulated newspapers which announced the availability of federal and local funds to assist local entitlement communities and unincorporated target areas and provided a schedule for technical assistance relating to the funding requirements and process. County staff representatives and entitlement City staff assisted and conducted various meetings within their respective target areas to solicit input and prioritize local needs from all jurisdictional communities.

Funding requests were received from cities, county agencies, target areas and non-profit organizations. The requests were reviewed for eligibility and presentations were held before an Application Review Committee which rated each project based on the ability to achieve positive accomplishments in relation to the goals and objectives of the Consolidated Plan.

Two public hearings were held on the Consolidated Plan. The first hearing was held on May 16, 1995, to notify citizens of the availability of the draft Consolidated Plan, recommend projects for funding and allow citizens an opportunity to comment. Comments received were responded to in writing within a 15-day time period. During the second public hearing on June 20, 1995, the Consolidated Plan was adopted by the Board of Supervisors.


The County of Orange borders on the counties of Los Angeles and San Bernardino to the north, Riverside to the east, San Diego to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west, with 42 miles of coastline. The 1990 Census estimated Orange County's population at 2,410,556 people. Currently, Orange County has the fifth largest county by population in the United States. The majority of the 1990 Census data was available only on a countywide level; therefore, the analysis in the Consolidated Plan assumes housing and socioeconomic issues and trends are similarly represented within the Urban County jurisdiction.

Between 1980 and 1990, the County's housing stock grew by 153,558 units; between 1970 and 1980 housing grew by 246,759 units. According to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the median value of owner-occupied single family homes in Orange County increased 134% during the 1980s, from $108,100 to $252,700. Similarly, the 1980s saw median monthly rents in Orange County increase by 117%, from $336 to $728. The National Association of Realtors currently ranks Orange County as the third most expensive housing market in the nation.

According to the 1990 Census data, there are 828,849 households in Orange County. Of the total, 323,707 are renter households (39%), and 505,142 (61%) are owner-occupied. Sixty-one percent of the County's housing stock is single-family residential units; 33.3 percent are multi-family residential units; 3.6 percent are mobile homes; and 1 percent are identified as other units.

The County uses a countywide family median income figure of $51,269 as the base criteria to determine "extremely low", "low", "moderate", and "middle-income" households. Forty- four percent of renter households fall into the "extremely-low", "low" or "moderate- income" range; nineteen percent of homeowner households are within these categories.

The 1990 Census depicts Orange County's racial and ethnic population as follows:



The unincorporated target areas designated as part of the Urban County primarily consist of small residential islands located within or between large cities. These areas have generally not been attractive for annexation by neighboring cities. Furthermore, most contain concentrations of low and moderate-income populations and ethnic groups. An exception is Midway City, a medium-sized community which has historically resisted annexation. Other exceptions are the special population areas such as El Toro Station which houses Marines and their families, and the large, planned senior community of Leisure World.

Non-Hispanic Whites comprise 79 percent of the unincorporated population. Most of the sixteen participating incorporated cities have smaller proportions of minorities than the Urban County area. The cities with Non-Hispanic White populations less than 75 percent include Cypress (70%), La Palma (52.7%), Placentia (65.2%) and Stanton (52.4%).

A critical turning point in the County of Orange's government programs occurred in December, 1994. The County filed for bankruptcy. The effects of this financial disaster have resulted in the reduction or elimination of several community, health and social services programs. These reduced or eliminated County programs provided assistance to low and moderate-income persons which included services to: the disabled, persons with HIV/AIDS, homeless, mentally ill, persons with addictions, seniors, and victims of domestic violence. The bankruptcy has placed a heavy burden on cities, churches, non-profit organizations, and target area communities to assist these groups by expanding services or creating additional programs while reduced funding to take on these additional responsibilities has also been reduced.

Housing Needs

Contrary to the 1970s which showed an increase in housing units greater than the rate of population growth, the 1980s saw the rate of population increase 23% higher than the increase in new affordable housing units.

Market Conditions

The 1990 Census revealed the following facts regarding Orange County's housing market:

Affordable Housing Needs

There are an estimated 419,560 extremely low, low and moderate-income households in Orange County experiencing some type of housing problem. This figure represents more than 51 percent of all households within the County and is indicative of the magnitude of housing problems which pervade the Urban County.

The most prevalent housing problems among all renter households are cost burden and overcrowding. Seventy-four percent of large family rental households (five members or more), experienced some degree of overcrowding; 65 percent of all elderly renters pay one- third or more of their monthly income on rent.

Among owner-occupied households, cost burden is the primary housing problem; one-third of all owner-occupied households pay 30 percent or more of their monthly income on housing.

Approximately 50 percent of the extremely low and low-income homeowners reported sub- standard conditions or physical defects in their units.

Homeless Needs

The recession of the 1990s downsized businesses and eliminated jobs, reduced income levels and increased the numbers of homeless families. A newer category of homeless people emerged; those who were well educated and had previously earned salaries above the median income level.

Homeless populations range from 2,032 person (from a 1990 Census "S-Night" count) to a more current figure of 10,000 persons based on data compiled from the Orange County Homeless Issues Task Force (HITF). Sixty percent of the homeless population are families, with single adults and youth under 17 years of age comprising the remaining 40 percent. The HITF also reported that within the homeless subpopulations:

Using 1990 Census data on extremely low, low and moderate-income households with a housing cost burden in excess of 50 percent of the monthly gross income, potentially as many as 22,000 households within the County could be threatened with homelessness. The Consolidated Plan lists over 21 non-profit organizations countywide who assist homeless individuals and families with children or those threatened with homelessness.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The County of Orange Urban County Program does not have public housing. The County of Orange's Housing and Redevelopment Function provides rental assistance to an estimated 6,600 extremely low and low-income households representing all ethnic subgroups. This program is in great demand with more than 3,000 households on a waiting list which has been closed since 1991. It is estimated the number of extremely low and low-income households within the County's program requiring housing assistance is more than 49,000.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Constraints and barriers for the development of new or preservation of affordable housing include:

To alleviate or eliminate these barriers, the County has made considerable efforts to foster a greater community-wide understanding of the need for affordable housing. The County has also created incentives to increase the production of affordable housing. For example, "density bonus" use permits allow a residential project to exceed the density permitted under the existing General Plan or zoning designations in exchange for long-term affordability commitments by a developer. Such agreements require that a certain number of the project's units remain affordable or reserved for senior citizens for a specified number of years. The County has also implemented a "one-stop" Development Processing Center to expedite the processing and review of development plans and applications within the unincorporated areas. A Zoning Administrator was granted additional authority to approve more routine items which normally required Planning Commission review.

Fair Housing

The County has agreed to affirmatively further fair housing practices and currently funds the Fair Housing Council of Orange County. Services provided include public education, counseling, conciliation, referral and compliance follow-up.

Lead-Based Paint

Although lead was banned from residential paint in 1978, an estimated 57 million older homes - more than half of the total U.S. housing stock, contains some lead-based paint. The Urban County jurisdiction contains a total of 279,064 housing units. Of these units, sixty-five percent, or 183,191 units, were constructed prior to 1979. An estimated 34,561 units of the current housing stock were constructed prior to 1959. These older properties are primarily occupied by the low-income sector of the population which therefore places low-income persons at a greater risk.

The County initiates lead-based paint notification procedures when a rehabilitation activity is being considered on a structure constructed prior to 1978. It is the policy of the Housing and Redevelopment Function to remove any lead-based products from the site and ensure the new or replacement products are free of lead-based material.

Other Issues

The primary source of housing and supportive needs for the non-homeless special needs population of Orange County is provided through various County service agencies and many non-profit organizations. These special needs populations include the frail elderly, severely mentally ill, developmentally and physically disabled, persons with alcohol or other drug addictions and persons with HIV/AIDS. It is estimated that:

Community Development Needs

The Urban County target areas are typically older neighborhoods whose physical structures are in various stages of deterioration due to deferred maintenance or inferior construction standards. Therefore, there is a need for public works/facilities improvements such as park and public facilities improvements for disabled access, rehabilitation and construction of new community facilities to upgrade and enhance these neighborhoods.

In addition, the County has piloted an economic development effort aimed at creating job opportunities by providing job training, placement and entrepreneurial skills to low and moderate-income "at-risk" youth. This program accomplishes revitalization of neighborhoods and encourages local ownership of businesses. In addition, the County promotes family self-sufficiency by providing education, life skills and income management classes to low-income persons.


The Housing and Redevelopment Function, a division of the Environmental Management Agency coordinates services with other county agencies (Health Care Agency, Social Services Agency and Community Services Agency), and is committed toward understanding the causes and effects of poverty and adapting resources to address these issues.

In addition, the County works regionally with non-profit organizations, cities and target area communities to develop and organize a long-range planning strategy for the urban County jurisdiction. The Plan includes the assistance of these same groups and also includes assistance of for-profit developers and financial institutions for the development of new affordable housing and rehabilitation activities.


Vision for Change

The County's overall vision and goal for its Urban County jurisdiction is to:

Housing and Community Development Objectives

The Consolidated Plan outlines the County's 5-year strategy to address the overall needs for housing, community and economic development issues. The needs have been prioritized based on a comparative analysis of overall needs and the current resources available to address those needs. The needs of citizens participating in the process as set for in the Citizen Participation Plan have also been incorporated into this section.

Housing Priorities

The Consolidated Plan's 5-year strategy lists the following housing priorities:

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

The County has identified the following community development priorities for the 5-year period:

Anti-Poverty Strategy

The primary focus of the County's anti-poverty strategy is on housing and economic development. The goals are to provide decent housing, a suitable living environment and expand economic opportunities for low and moderate income people. These goals can be attained by assisting individuals and families in maintaining or securing affordable housing and developing better opportunities for employment. Stable housing promotes a healthier, supportive family environment in which positive motivation to achieve economic independence can be encouraged. The County's ultimate goal is to provide a high level of self-sufficiency and empower as many individuals and families as possible.

Several programs are in place to address these goals; the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program, Family Self-Sufficiency Program, Shared Housing Program, Family Unification Program, Rental Assistance Loan Program and the At-Risk Youth Employment Program.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The County utilizes the Federal resources of CDBG, ESG, and HOME funding in addition to local redevelopment funds for its implementation of the five-year Consolidated Plan. The Plan identifies the use of each of these funding sources to provide neighborhood revitalization, economic development, improvement of community and public facilities and various housing and supportive services.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The County seeks to extend and strengthen partnerships among all levels of government and in the public and private sectors.


Description of Key Projects

For Program Year XXI (Fiscal Year 1995-96), the County proposes to use $8,815,417 in HUD Federal funds during the first year of the Consolidated Plan. The following lists several key projects:


The proposed projects for FY 1995-96 are located throughout the Orange County "urban county" jurisdiction and are distributed throughout the north, central and south County areas.

Lead Agencies

The County of Orange Environmental Management Agency's Housing and Redevelopment (H/R) Function is the lead agency responsible for the coordination, delivery and management of Federal, State and local housing funds for the County of Orange. A branch of the H/R Function, the Housing Assistance Division, coordinates rental assistance contracts within 26 cities and also offers financial assistance to non-profits and service providers through its Housing Support Services Program. The Function also uses its Operating Reserve Funds for the creation of new affordable housing.

The primary advisory boards for housing and community development issues include the Orange County Housing Commission and the Housing Community Development Task Force.

Housing Goals

During the next five years of the Consolidated Plan, the County anticipates providing affordable housing opportunities for 7,800 households, including:

The priority needs for the five-year period (fiscal years 1995-1999) and the estimated dollars anticipated to address those needs are shown in the Consolidated Plan. The priorities are based on a comparative analysis of needs and current resources available. Additionally, the priorities reflect the needs of citizens participating in the Consolidated Planning process.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas for the entire county.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas for the northern portion of the county.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas for the northwestern portion of the county.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas for the central portion of the county.

MAP 6 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas for the southern portion of the county.

MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels for the entire county.

MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels for the northern portion of the county.

MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels for the northwestern portion of the county.

MAP 10 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels for the central portion of the county.

MAP 11 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels for the southern portion of the county.

MAP 12 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels for the entire county.

MAP 13 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels for the northern portion of the county.

MAP 14 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels for the northwestern portion of the county.

MAP 15 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels for the central portion of the county.

MAP 16 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels for the southern portion of the county.

MAP 17 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects for the northern portion of the county.

MAP 18 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects for the northwestern portion of the county.

To comment on Orange County's Consolidated Plan, please contact:
Tom Watford
Housing Program Services
PH: (714) 480-2830

Return to California's Consolidated Plans.