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

Consolidated Plan Contact


Santa Ana is located near the center of Southern California's Orange County. It is one of the oldest, largest and most demographically changing municipalities in the county. The City is also the county seat and home to state and federal offices. Neighboring cities include Anaheim, home of Disneyland, and Huntington Beach, once nicknamed, "Surf City, USA".

Action Plan

In FY 1995, Santa Ana is scheduled to receive $8,794,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The Home Investment Partnership (HOME) Program allocation is $1,631,000. There is $241,000 slated for the Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) Program. Santa Ana will be the county's lead agency in distributing $1,093,000 in Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) funds. The CDBG funds are primarily targeted to public works projects, services and housing improvement efforts for low and moderate income persons.

Citizen Participation

On February 21, 1995 a public hearing was held for comments regarding development of the Consolidated Plan. Social services and other governmental agencies, as well as local non-profit agencies, were also consulted. The city sent out 200 surveys asking opinions on local needs. The document was offered for public review between March 29, 1995 and April 27, 1995. Summaries of the Plan and notice of its availability were published in English, Spanish and Vietnamese newspapers.


Santa Ana's 1990 population of 293,742 is the highest in Orange County and represents a 44 percent increase since 1980. Hispanics comprise 65 percent of the population, but the city is also home to many Asian immigrants. There are 25 languages spoken in Santa Ana.

The demographic changes have resulted in a younger average age, overcrowded housing, inaffordability and increasingly lower income and poverty. The income level of residents is the lowest in the county, 25 percent below the countywide median. Over 53 percent of the population meets HUD's Section 8 guidelines for low and very low income.



Two-family homes and other causes of overcrowding have taken a toll on the condition of both owner and rental units. A count of substandard units cited 4,594 owned homes and 4,607 rental dwellings. Approximately 90 percent of the housing stock was built prior to 1980.

Housing Market Conditions

Santa Ana is 97 percent built out, consisting of 74,973 dwellings. Half are single-family homes. Overcrowding and age have led to problems with housing infrastructure, such as plumbing and sewer systems. Among all categories of residents, 78 percent reported some housing problems.

Governmental regulations, market conditions and lack of suitable vacant land are the primary constraints to new housing construction. Rents and home prices are below county averages, but still are unaffordable to most residents.

Affordable Housing Needs

Half of Santa Ana's residents pay more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing. Because of the lower income population, there is a long waiting list for housing assistance from the Santa Ana Housing Authority.

Vacancy rates are lower than county standards. Despite much multifamily construction in the 1980s, increasing numbers of renters have kept rent levels high.

There are 27 affordable housing projects with 1,280 units planned for construction between 1994 and 1999.

Homeless Needs

Santa Ana has the largest and most visible homeless population in the county. A survey by the Orange County Homeless Issues Task Force puts the countywide total at over 12,000. Santa Ana participates in that task force.

The city places emergency and transitional housing as its top priorities for the homeless. Services such as job training are also needed. There are 14 emergency and transitional shelters in the city providing 351 beds. Some shelter providers are supported by the city's Emergency Shelter Grant. There are numerous providers of non-shelter services.

Currently, two Single Room Occupancy projects are being developed with local and federal financing. The remodeled YMCA and YMCA will provide SRO units to homeless persons receiving government benefits or working wages.

Public and Assisted Housing

The city has 19 projects of 808 units where ownership has pledged affordable rents in exchange for federally assisted mortgages through the year 1999. Currently, 153 of those units are expected to eventually be lost as agreements expire and owners convert to market rate mortgages. Three other projects with 365 units are at risk of conversion.

The city is concerned about the loss of affordability guarantees. It is working with owners to extend their agreements with HUD.

Santa Ana has no public housing projects.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

The city cites two main factors as barriers to affordable housing: governmental constraints and real estate market conditions.

Governmental constraints include: land-use controls involving density; building costs, fees and processing; zoning restrictions; and off-site improvement requirements.

Real estate conditions primarily involve: land availability and cost; financing and interest rates; and costs of construction. Available land in the city is mostly small parcels that cannot be assembled for significant building. Relocation costs for redeveloping improved properties can also be prohibitive to builders.

Fair Housing

Santa Ana contracts with the Fair Housing Council of Orange County, budgeting $47,195 in 1995. The Council investigates complaints, monitors compliance with laws and provides information on fair housing issues.

Lead-Based Paint

HUD estimates that 74 percent of dwellings built prior to 1980 have some lead-based paint. Since 90 percent of Santa Ana's housing was built before 1980, the city recognizes lead- based paint as an economic and health issue. There is a high population of small children at risk. The cost of removing the paint can be a deterrent for lower income families.

The city has proposed a comprehensive strategy to provide inspections, education and funding sources for the abatement of lead-based paint. An inter-agency working group would guide the city's effort.

Other Issues

The need for supportive housing continues to grow for groups with special needs.

There are 795 assisted units in Santa Ana for the elderly and frail elderly. Additional affordable units are being planned. Both the city and local non-profit are providing supportive services, such as Senior Shared Housing, Meals on Wheels and various other living needs.

Affordable housing is limited for persons with HIV/AIDS. Only three facilities with 24 units are now available. The city plans to address this need in planning and administering Orange County's HOPWA grant.

From statistics, 25 percent of the city's estimated 6,450 residents with physical or mental disabilities are in need of supportive housing. Affordability and accessibility are both concerns in new development, and building requirements for the handicapped are costly to developers and have not increased the supply in recent years. City and county governments, as well as such non-profit as the Dayle McIntosh Center, are referral sources for both housing and other needs of the disabled.

Also based on a statistical estimate, 400 residents with drug and/or alcohol addictions are in need of supportive housing.

Community Development Needs

Santa Ana faces many challenges in the non-housing needs of its residents. Funding sources are the major concern. Redevelopment tax increment, state and federal grants and general fund revenue are targeted at the problems, but other past sources have diminished. A declining industrial and commercial base has resulted in falling revenue and losses were incurred in the Orange County investment pool.

Because of the city's age and overcrowding, public infrastructure are a high priority. Streets, parks, community centers and other improvements are planned, particularly for the six redevelopment areas. One such project is the Bristol Street Corridor, which will use a variety of funding sources to widen the street and provide a linear park. Overcrowding and crime are two reasons for an emphasis on code enforcement.

Crime and gang abatement are cited for many of the community needs. Social services are vital, particularly for youths. Park and job training programs are two methods. A police holding facility is needed to prevent criminals from being easily freed to further victimize troubled neighborhoods.

Economic development efforts are also ongoing to both provide local employment opportunities and add to the tax base.


Vision for Change

As previously stated, Santa Ana is a rapidly changing community in terms of demographics. A largely young, minority and lower income populace must be constantly monitored and assessed for ways to improve economic and social well-being.

Housing and Community Development Priorities

Various efforts to alleviate overcrowding and substandard conditions are top priorities in Santa Ana. These are particularly important in the city's older, aging central area. Stabilizing neighborhoods, adequate public improvements and encouraging local pride are all required in the solution.

Housing rehabilitation is a major element. The city will provide funding within its ability for the improvement of residential properties, but owners of multifamily dwellings must be encouraged to invest. Overcrowding, crime and other neighborhood improvement must be addressed for this investment.

Specific activities to be City responsibilities include:

For the homeless, the city considers transitional housing and a more sophisticated means to assess the needs of homeless subgroups as its top priorities. More regional and countywide coordination of efforts is required to provide a continuum of care.

Continued assessment and affordable housing efforts will be undertaken for special needs groups, such as the elderly, frail elderly, the HIV/AIDS affected and the disabled.

Non-housing Community Development Priorities

Santa Ana must use limited resources to create viable, stabilized neighborhoods. The benefit of focusing such efforts in the lowest income neighborhoods and redevelopment areas would have the greatest citywide benefit.

The needs for improved public facilities and new open space are best exemplified by the Bristol Street Corridor Project. Recreation Centers are planned for Rosita, Delhi and Memorial Parks. The Police Holding Facility is also a top priority.

Continued and improved service are needed for the homeless, special needs groups and youths. Job training and gang prevention efforts are highly necessary for young people.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

The city has identified the factors it can control in combating poverty. In summary, these factors requiring public assistance can be categorized as: housing, education, employment and job training. Many of the city's efforts here have been previously discussed in this document.

A longer list of activities and services needed is as follows:

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The Santa Ana Community Development Agency is the lead body for implementing the Plan, which includes other governmental, public and non-profit agencies. The Housing Services Division will oversee all housing matters. The City Council and Redevelopment and Housing Commission are the authorities for CDA decisions. The public sector will be increasingly incorporated into this structure.


Funding amounts from HUD were provided in the beginning of this document. General priorities have been discussed throughout. Highlights of planned FY 1995 expenditures are as follows:

There will be continued participation in federal and state programs that provide youth education and gang prevention; adult and youth job training; rental assistance; affordable housing construction incentives; and homebuying assistance for those of lower incomes.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

TABLE (without associated map) provides information about the project(s).

To comment on Santa Ana's Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Terri Eggers
Housing Programs Analyst
PH: (714) 667-2246

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