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

Consolidated Plan Contact


San Bernardino County is located approximately 60 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and extends to Arizona and Nevada. Covering 20,000 square miles, San Bernardino County has the largest land area of any county in the continental United States, larger than the states of Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont. Between 1970 and 1980 the population more than doubled, rising from 684,072 to 1.4 million. The County consists of three geographically distinct areas -- the Inland Valley, the San Gabriel/San Bernardino Mountains and the Mojave Desert.

The County of San Bernardino is a qualified urban county entitled to receive Federal Housing and Community Development Grant funds from HUD as a consortium of unincorporated communities and 17 cooperating cities. The cooperating cities are Adelanto, Town of Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear Lake, Chino Hills, Colton, Grand Terrace, Highland, Yucaipa, Victorville and the Town of Yucca Valley. The County Consortium represents 53 percent of the total County population. The remaining cities in the County (Chino, Fontana, Hesperia, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino and Upland) qualify as entitlement cities and have chosen to participate directly with HUD.

Action Plan

In Fiscal Year 1995-96, the County Consortium will use $16 million in Federal funds to implement a strategy that will provide additional affordable housing and community development projects. These funds include over $12 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, $3.3 million in HOME investment Partnership (HOME) funds, and $.3 million in Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) funds.

Citizen Participation

To encourage citizen participation, the County Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) asked each of the 17 municipalities participating in the County Consortium to conduct at least one community forum to identify housing and community development needs. The forums were designed to gather citizen input on programs that might benefit each community's lower income residents. During November and December 1994, 17 separate forums were held throughout the County, and the overall attendance exceeded 330.

During the same period, surveys were mailed to the eight entitlement cities within the County. San Bernardino County consulted with neighboring counties to solicit input from jurisdictions that might overlap or otherwise affect its programs. The County also consulted with 24 county departments, 106 community-based organizations, 189 organizations providing services to the homeless, and residents of public and Section 8 housing.

The identified needs were summarized in a report presented to the Board of Supervisors. This report determined the priority needs, objectives, and actions listed in the Consolidated Plan.


Sixty miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, San Bernardino County borders the north and east metropolitan areas of Orange and Los Angeles counties. Like other counties in Southern California, San Bernardino has experienced rapid growth during the past two decades. Between 1970 and 1990, the population increased by more than 107 percent, rising from 684,072 to 1.4 million.

The county's population growth has been affected by the economies of Orange and Los Angeles Counties and has been concentrated in areas adjacent to these jurisdictions or within commuting distance to them. Additional growth can be attributed to immigration from Mexico, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim.

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) projects that the county's population growth will continue. SCAG is predicting a 54-percent increase between 1990 and 2010. During this same period, the number of housing units is expected to increase by 77 percent, while employment is expected to increase by 73 percent.

The 1990 census reported that the county's median age was almost 28. Adults between the ages of 25 and 54 comprise 43 percent of the population. School age children between the ages of 5 and 18 comprise nearly 23 percent. Elderly persons over the age of 65 comprise less than 9 percent.

The racial and ethnic composition of the entire county changed significantly during the past decade. The white non-Hispanic population decreased, falling from 73 percent in 1980 to 61 percent in 1990. The Hispanic population increased, rising from 18.5 percent to 26 percent. Although the overall proportions of African Americans and Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders are small, these groups increased by 137 percent and by 273 percent, respectively.

The estimated 1994 median family income (MCI) for the Riverside-San Bernardino County metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was $42,300, slightly higher than the national average but lower than MCI for Orange ($59,100) and Los Angeles ($45,200) Counties. In 1990 about 12 percent of the county's households were extremely low-income (0-30 percent of MCI); 11 percent were low-income (31-50 percent of MCI); 17 percent were moderate- income (51-80 percent of MCI); and 8 percent were middle-income (81-95 percent of MCI). Nearly 25 percent of all households in the county were in the low-income category, and 57 percent of those households lived in County Consortium areas.



According to the 1990 census, 465,877 households reside in San Bernardino County, a countrywide increase of 56,566 since 1980. Of these, 254,935 households (more than 50 percent) live in the County Consortium area. Overall, the average household size has increased from 2.8 persons in 1980 to 3.4 in 1990.

The 1990 census indicated that San Bernardino County had 588,501 housing units. Of these, 67 percent were single-family dwellings, and 25 percent were multifamily dwellings.

The county's vacancy rate was 18 percent. However, this high figure can be attributed to the California recession and to the large number of seasonal units, which account for 33 percent of all vacant units. Furthermore, 16,507 vacant units were for sale.

The housing stock is relatively new. Nearly 50 percent all units were built between 1980 and 1989; 33 percent of the units were built between 1960 and 1979; and 21 percent were built before 1960. Less than 2 percent of the stock is substandard and not suitable for habitation.

Housing Needs

The 1988 a State-mandated Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) prepared by SCAG estimated that between 1988 and 1994, the county would need to provide an additional 55,886 housing units to accommodate projected population growth.

The 1990 census found that 47,489 households (10 percent) are overcrowded. Nearly 60 percent of all large renter households live in overcrowded conditions.

Housing Market Conditions

Despite low interest rates and low housing prices, real estate sales remain sluggish in Southern California and in San Bernardino County. Since 1990 the real estate market has been stimulated by job market recovery, declining home prices, and increasing affordability levels. Moreover, population growth and years of recession have created a pent-up demand for housing. However, lingering anxiety about employment stability and fears that housing prices may fall further continue to depress the market.

In 1994 home prices for the area averaged $148,198, falling by 1 percent since 1993 and by 15 percent since 1991. Also during 1994, resale prices averaged $132,563, falling by 2.2 percent since 1993 and by 7.7 percent since 1991.

The closing of Norton and George Air Force Bases in San Bernardino County and the realignment of March Air Force Base in neighboring Riverside County has profoundly impacted the county's housing market.

Affordable Housing Needs

Housing affordability is the overwhelming problem facing many San Bernardino County households. Predictably, lower income households and renters most often experience housing cost burdens. Of all households, 165,559 (35 percent) are cost-burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing expenses. Of these, 45 percent are renters, while the remainder are homeowners. Among extremely low-income households, 75 percent are cost-burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing, and 61 percent are severely cost-burdened, paying more than 50 percent. Among low-income households, two-thirds are cost-burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing, and one-third are severely cost-burdened, paying more than 50 percent. Overall, cost burdens affect more renters than owners.

Although 85 percent of African American and 89 percent of Hispanic renter households report housing problems, those ethnic groups are not disproportionately represented among the lower income groups experiencing housing problems.

Homeless Needs

In conjunction with the Homeless Coalition, the County has identified 3,081 homeless persons, with nearly half of them being children. Of the total homeless population, 45 percent are females, and 20 percent of all homeless households are headed by women. African Americans comprise 20 percent of the homeless population but only 8 percent of the county's total population. The most frequently cited causes of homelessness include evictions, job loss, and alcohol and drug abuse.

The San Bernardino County Homeless Coalition lists 37 homeless service providers and 8 homeless shelters within the county. Several county departments also provide shelter assistance for the homeless and homeless people with mental illness.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The Housing Authority of San Bernardino owns and manages 12 public housing sites containing 2,018 units, which can be occupied by extremely low- and low-income households.

Currently, 1,877 applicants are on the waiting list for public housing units in County Consortium jurisdictions. A waiting period that can last between 2 and 3 years discourages many interested and eligible families from applying for the units. The Housing Authority has not received allocations to develop additional public housing units since 1988.

The Housing Authority also assists approximately 2,400 low-income households living in the County Consortium area using its Section 8 certificate and voucher program. In mid-1994, 3,961 applicants appeared on the waiting list for Section 8 assistance.

Of the 32 housing projects built by private developers who used Federal housing assistance, 4 projects in the County Consortium area will be eligible for repayment by 2000, relieving their owners from reserving units for lower income residents.

Through its Multifamily Mortgage Revenue Bond Program, the county has provided nearly 1,600 affordable units. Developments financed with such assistance must reserve 20 percent of all units for families earning less than the area MCI and must limit rents to 30 percent of gross income. The county offers mortgage revenue bonds to finance housing construction, using a program that assists low-and moderate-income homebuyers. San Bernardino County also grants a density bonus to developers who reserve 25 percent of all units for lower income households.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

The basic factors that might constrain affordable housing -- such as land use controls, building codes, processing procedures, and development fees -- do not significantly impede the expansion of the county's affordable housing supply. Sufficient land is available to accommodate the projections of the 1988 SCAG housing needs assessment. Enforcement of the State-established Uniform Building Code constrains development only to ensure public health and safety. Processing times for project proposals conform to State requirements. Although impact fees and requirements that force developers to make offsite improvements add to the cost of housing, these fees and requirements are necessary to maintain the quality of life within a community.

Fair Housing

The county contracts with the Fair Housing Council of San Bernardino County, Inc., which helps housing industry groups to implement the Voluntary Affirmative Marketing Agreement and to disseminate information on fair housing opportunities. The council also provides educational assistance on equal housing purchase opportunities. Furthermore, the county contracts with the Inland Mediation Board, which provides tenant-landlord counseling and education on fair housing laws.

Lead-Based Paint

In 1991 the State of California established a program that requires all children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years be tested for lead poisoning. Of the 165,285 children living in San Bernardino County, 25,737 were screened during a 2-year period beginning in 1992. Of these, 70 children had extremely high blood-lead levels, and 146 met Federal case definitions requiring public health follow-up.

Other Issues

Special needs households that require assistance to find affordable housing include the elderly, the disabled, and persons with HIV/AIDS. Housing affordability is a concern among elderly households and renters on fixed incomes, because housing costs often increase faster than incremental income adjustments.

An estimated 11 percent of the county population is disabled. Physically handicapped people often require dwellings that have specially designed access features.

The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health reported that the county has 1,420 cases of AIDS and 3,300 cases of HIV. These persons may need housing assistance sometime during the progression of their disease.

Community Development Needs

Each of the 17 cities and 9 unincorporated areas in the County Consortium identified community development needs, including public facilities, infrastructure, public service, and economic development. Overall, 12 communities identified a need for improved accessibility; 10 identified graffiti removal; and 1 identified rehabilitation for a reservoir damaged during an earthquake.


The County Board of Supervisors appointed the Department of Economic Development (ECD) as the agency responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing the housing and community development plan.


Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

The county's strategic plan has four elements: an affordable housing plan, a homeless plan, a special housing needs plan, and a non-housing community development plan.

Housing Priorities

The main thrust of the County Consortium's strategy is to promote the expansion of housing opportunities for extremely low-income households. Low-income households are also assigned high priority.

To expand the supply of affordable housing, San Bernardino County will use two mechanisms. First, to provide affordable housing, the county will continue to support activities of non-profit housing developers and the County Housing Authority. Second, to stimulate production and to remove obstacles that inhibit the construction of affordable units, the county will continue to provide developers with incentives, including bond financing, density bonuses, priority processing, and fee waivers.

Over the next 5 years, the county hopes that at least 1,000 affordable rental units for low- income families will be built using mortgage revenue bonds designed to finance multifamily rental projects. The county also hopes that its bonding authority will fund at least 500 low- interest mortgages for low- and moderate-income families and will help 275 low-income families to buy a home through the HOME program.

San Bernardino County is applying for a one-time grant of $800,000 through the HOPE III single-family homeownership program. The county will use these funds to acquire and rehabilitate five dwellings, reselling the units to low-income families.

To reduce housing costs to extremely low- and low-income households, the county will provide these households with ongoing monthly rental assistance and security deposit assistance. The county will insulate and weatherize 10,000 units, using funds from State, Federal, and local sources and from the region's gas and electric utilities.

To preserve the existing stock and other affordable units for extremely low-, low-, and moderate-income households, San Bernardino County will rehabilitate approximately 200 multifamily and single-family rental units, rehabilitate 200 owned residences, and repair 1,500 senior owned residences.

The Housing Authority has adopted a 5-year plan that will encourage residents to participate in resident councils, training, active partnerships, and a homeownership program.

The County Homelessness Plan calls for development of a continuum of care that includes: providing the homeless with cold weather shelters and support services, offering prevention services to 85 families threatened with homelessness, and providing services and outreach at a domestic violence shelter. The county will support the Housing Authority's application for a $1 million formula grant from Section 8 rental assistance program. This grant will provide at least 30 homeless families and individuals with permanent housing.

Non-housing Community Development Priorities

Because of Southern California's recessionary economy, both tax revenues and charitable contributions to non-profit service providers have fallen. Consequently, the inventory of community development needs has grown dramatically.

Public facility needs include building and rehabilitating senior centers, child-care centers, and playgrounds. San Bernardino County also plans to acquire park land, to improve existing parks, and to finance seismic safety improvements.

Infrastructure activities include improving flood drainage, water systems, streets, and streetscapes.

As part of a long-range plan to develop a diverse network of needed services, the county will to help provide or augment public services, such as: senior citizen outreach; social, health, housing, and youth services; drug abuse prevention, recreation, and cultural-access programs; outreach and counseling; education, training, and referral services; and blight abatement.

Accessibility needs include removing barriers at public facilities in 10 communities and installing accessible park playground equipment in another community.

During the next 3 to 5 years, the county hopes to design historic preservation improvements for Barton House in Redlands and to complete preservation improvements for the Assistencia Mission in Redlands and the Twenty-Nine Palms School House.

To meet economic development needs, San Bernardino County hopes to provide business expansion loans that will leverage additional private financing and equity investment while creating or retaining 300 jobs. The county also expects to provide nearly $475,000 in Economic Development Initiative (EDI) funds that will be used as a debt service reserve and as capital for a small business financing program. To implement a countywide business financing program, the county will combine the EDI funds with Section 108 funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Over the next 3 years, the county will complete code enforcement inspections in Apple Valley, Barstow, Highland, Montclair, and Colton. The county will also demolish and remove abandoned or unsafe buildings in unincorporated areas of the Second and Third Supervisorial Districts.

Anti-poverty Strategy

The Community Services Department of San Bernardino County is the primary agency responsible for administering the county's anti-poverty programs. Its major responsibilities include providing job training, energy conservation and weatherization assistance, income management counseling, and rent subsidies.

Housing and Community Development Resources

To implement the strategic plan, the county will use CDBG and HOME funds as well as resources from other Federal programs, including: the HOPE programs, Shelter Plus Care, HUD Section 202 loans, and Family Self-Sufficiency Program.

Available State resources include funds from a State emergency shelter program and a program that finances rehabilitation of rental units for low- and moderate-income renters living in rural areas. The California Housing Finance Agency administers programs which are financed through mortgage revenue bonds issued by San Bernardino County.

The county also expects to receive the support of several quasi-public entities, such as the Federal Home Loan Bank. The county will also have access to loan pools maintained by the Savings Association Mortgage Company (SAMCO) and the California Community Reinvestment Corporation (CCRC).

Coordination of Strategic Plan

As lead agency for implementing the strategic plan, ECD will strengthen and expand the partnerships that it has developed with public and assisted housing providers, service agencies, non-profit organizations, and government entities. To retain and recruit commerce and industry, ECD will cooperate with economic development organizations within the county. To identify overlapping priority needs and to collaborate in developing mutual benefit proposals, ECD will coordinate with entitlement cities.


Description of Key Projects

In 1995-1996 numerous key projects will be funded using more than $16 million in CDBG funds. These projects include major countywide activities, such as a $1.8 million Economic Development and Business Expansion Program, $2.3 million for housing development and preservation and smaller activities in individual cities and unincorporated areas throughout San Bernardino County.


Approximately 53 percent of the county's CDBG entitlement will be reserved for activities that benefit the entire County Consortium area. The cities of Redlands and Rialto, as joint CDBG applicants, will receive 60 percent of the entitlement allocated to them for city projects. The county will distribute the balance of its entitlement to participating cities and unincorporated areas, using population, extent of poverty, and extent of overcrowding as the determining factors.

Lead Agencies

Although city councils from each participating city identify priority needs and fund allocations for their jurisdictions, the Board of Supervisors makes all final decisions concerning priority needs and allocations.


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.

MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the projects.

If you would like to comment on San Bernardino County Consortium's Consolidated Plan, please contact Dave Larson at 909-388-0959.
Return to California's Consolidated Plans.