Westminster, California, incorporated in 1957, is an urbanized community with a diverse population. Westminster is home to Cubans, Thai's, Vietnamese, Koreans, and Laotians, Blacks and Samoans. The City is internationally known for the Little Saigon community which represents the largest Vietnamese business district in the United States. Westminster is located in west Orange County, just seven miles from the Pacific coast with a population of approximately 83,000 citizens and lies between the cities of Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Stanton and Seal Beach.
In the Consolidated Plan, Westminster describes its housing and community development needs and priorities, as well as a 5-year strategy for addressing these needs using Federal and other resources. The city plans to spend approximately $1,425,000 for the 1995-1996 program year. Proposed projects include: public service projects: ongang prevention, senior services, youth services and code enforcement; housing rehabilitation; and targeted area street improvement projects.
The City of Westminster undertook an extensive citizen participation process for the preparation of the Consolidated Plan Document which began with updating the Citizen Participation Plan to further expand its community outreach efforts. The Citizen Participation Plan was available for public review for 30 days (from March 24, 1995 to April 24, 1995).
The citizen participation process included two public hearings including one social service group meeting, one community Hispanic church meeting, one meeting with the Westminster Senior Advisory Commission, a table at the Vietnamese Tet Festival, information to a group of handicapped, publication of the Consolidated Plan summary in local newspapers, and availability of the Draft Consolidated Plan for public review. A resolution of the City Council of the City of Westminster approving the City's Consolidated Plan Strategy, Five-Year Plan and One-Year Action Plan was approved May 9th, 1995.
Westminster's population in 1980 was 71,133. According to the 1990 Census, Westminster's current population was 78,118, an increase of 6,985 since 1980. According to estimates of the State Department of Finance, the City's population as of January 1995 was 83,287. 1990 Census data show the following levels of low-income and moderate- income households:
The racial and ethnic makeup of Westminster, according to the 1990 census, was:
Westminster is now a mature community with established housing recycling trends that are common in older, established communities. First generation residential development will be limited in the future as Westminster is almost entirely built out. Most of the city's land designated for residential use has been developed. It contains a variety of housing types, such as: single-family tract homes, mobile homes, townhouses, condominiums, and apartments. Future residential development is primarily restricted to recycling existing units and completing infill development. The City of Westminster has 2,818 mobilehomes, a higher percentage than surrounding cities. While the median household income almost doubled, the cost of owner and renter housing increased about 2-1/2 times between 1980 and 1990.
As indicated in the Consolidated Plan Document, two critical housing needs are identified: increasing the affordability of housing and rehabilitating the existing housing stock. To address affordable housing needs, rental assistance is needed to reduce cost burdens. To address housing quality/condition problems, funds are needed to help low-income persons maintain and repair their homes or to help landlords upgrade apartments.
Another need experienced by renters and owners is overcrowding. The number of overcrowded households more than doubled during the decade between 1980 and 1990.
According to the State Department of Finance, the City's population as of January 1995 was 83,287. The housing supply included a total of 26,096 dwelling units with 14,412 consisting of single-family detached units. The 1990 census data showed 63 percent of the total housing supply is owner occupied. Most consist of single family detached homes and mobile homes. There are almost 2,818 mobile home units in the City with 96% owner occupied. There are an estimated 9,335 renter occupied units with 19% of all single family homes being renter occupied. The owner-occupied rate is now about 67% and has decreased by 5% between 1980 and 1990.
Home values have declined since the economic recession hit southern California in mid-year 1990. Home values declined during the recession and probably have not increased above the average values that existed in 1990. The median value of all housing units was $225,500. The cost of housing, as a percentage of income, increased for both owners and renters. The percentage of owners overpaying increased less than for renter households.
Only 3 percent of all units are vacant. According to 1990 Census, the median gross rent was $736. About 59% of all the rental housing had monthly rents of more than $700. An estimated 8% of all the rental housing units had monthly rents of less than $500. The average rent for a 3 bedroom unit is $928.50; 2 bedroom unit $726.87; 1 bedroom unit $645.37 ; and a studio unit $462.50. Westminster's rental housing stock includes single- family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and apartments.
Because Westminster is now a mature community, there is a limited amount of vacant land for residential land use. While substandard housing is not a large problem for the City, it will be important to continue housing improvement programs to maintain housing quality as the stock ages.
Of the 3,037 extremely low income households in Westminster, 2,020 rental households and 1,017 owner households pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing expenses. Among 2,937 low income households, 1,607 rental households and 1,330 owner households pay more than 30 percent. Of the 2,648 households in the moderate income group, 1,327 renter households and 1,321 owner households pay more than 30 percent.
In Westminster there are currently an estimated 318 homeless persons. There are an estimated 67 homeless families (approximately 181 persons) and an estimated 137 homeless individuals not in families.
There are four emergency housing facilities available to the homeless of Westminster with bed spaces of 80+, and six transitional housing facilities with 264 bed spaces available to the City's homeless population. Some of the services for the homeless include: homeless prevention programs; daily assistance; voucher programs; social service programs; and affordable permanent housing. The Redevelopment Agency also owns 13 housing units and has supported the development of affordable housing for first-time homebuyers.
The City of Westminster does not own any public housing projects, nor does any city in Orange County.
In Westminster, the Section 8 rental assistance program assists 684 lower-income households with certificates, 99 with vouchers and 11 with Aftercare certificates. The program is administered by the Orange County Housing Authority (OCHA).
As of January 1995, 10 Westminster households were on OCHA's Section 8 waiting list with hundreds more eligible for assistance. OCHA does not currently allow persons or families to be added to the waiting list and it is unknown when it will be reopened.
The two most outstanding barriers to affordable housing are: 1) high cost and lack of availability of land; 2) high cost of labor and materials. Other factors would include Davis- Bacon "prevailing" wage requirements when Federal funds are used for housing.
Because of market conditions in all of Orange County, it is difficult for households to save enough money to afford the downpayment on a house, especially low and moderate-income large-family households.
The City of Westminster contracts with the Fair Housing Council (FHC) of Orange County to establish, maintain, and advance fair housing choices. The city is committed to achieving equal housing opportunities through the administration of Federal, State, and local programs. FHC provides community education by attending City sponsored festivals, speaking to school groups, and giving talks to realtors, apartment managers, and mortgage bankers.
The Compliance Division of the Council addresses discrimination complaints regarding protected classes under Federal and State laws. During the 1994-1995 fiscal year, the Council's Compliance Division received 6 discrimination complaints and 521 tenant-landlord dispute complaints. Most of these were handled by negotiation and did not have to go to court.
In consulting with the County of Orange Health Care Agency, it has been determined that since 1992, there have been 3 cases of childhood lead poisoning in Westminster. Leaded paint and lead in the soil were not suspected or were not found in laboratory analysis in these cases.
After Title X of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, using methodology based on a national survey conducted for HUD, it has been determined that approximately 3,810 very low and low income housing units in Westminster may contain lead-based paint (based on age alone).
In 1995, there were 5 cases of lead poising in Westminster as reported to the County of Orange Health Care Agency Public Health Division.
The city currently includes the "Notification - Watch Out For Lead-Based Paint Poisoning" in its housing rehabilitation program and includes inspection and testing as one of its eligible activities. As a part of the City's housing rehabilitation programs, the City will require any apartments and homes that were built before 1965 to be tested for lead based paint.
During the Citizen Participation process of the Consolidated Plan, the city created a questionnaire to help assess community opinions and concerns. Questionnaires were handed out at various community meetings and a variety of community development needs were determined.
The need categories encompass public improvements, public facilities, public services and economic development. The high priority needs include those activities that the City will definitely fund during the coming five year period. These include street improvements, senior services, youth services, crime awareness, fair housing, tenant/landlord counseling and code enforcement. The medium priority needs include neighborhood facilities, parks/recreational facilities, sidewalk improvements, commercial-industrial rehabilitation and economic development projects which create new jobs for low/mod income residents. The low priority needs encompass those activities that will not be funded by CDBG but which the City would support other entities application for funding, such as new construction of low-income housing.
The Consolidated Plan describes the city's activities to enhance coordination between public and assisted housing providers, and private and governmental health providers, and service agencies. With respect to the public entities involved, the Plan describes the means of cooperation and coordination among the State and any units of general local government involved in implementation of the Consolidated Plan.
There are several public, private and non-profit organizations involved in meeting the housing needs of the city's residents. The city staff will continue to monitor and attend meetings and workshops as appropriate and necessary, of the following organizations:
In addition, the implementation of the Citizen Participation Plan will offer other opportunities to coordinate with citizens, citizen groups and service agencies.
The City of Westminster intends to address high and medium priority needs as defined in the Citizen Participation process of the Consolidated Plan with the following actions:
The city's strategy for the use of the CDBG funds is to encourage applications from agencies that serve the needs of the special population groups that require supportive housing. During the coming five year period, the city's proposed accomplishments include: provide services to the special needs populations; and ensure that new senior housing contributes to meeting the needs of the frail elderly. The quantified objective is 20 to 40 new, affordable housing units for seniors. The city will ensure that non-profit housing organizations and CDBG funded social service agencies coordinate with the Orange County's In-Home Supportive Services Program.
Westminster has identified the following priority non-housing needs as follows:
According to the 1990 Census, almost 9,000 persons had poverty level incomes. This number represents 11.4% of the city's total population. The poverty rates by race/ethnicity indicate high rates among Asian/Pacific Islanders (23.6% and Hispanics 17.6%).
Essential elements of the city's anti-poverty strategy are: Section 8 Rental Assistance Payments; Orange Housing Authority Section 8 Family Self-Sufficiency Program; 35 jobs for low/moderate income persons will be created by the projects to be financed by the city's approved Section 108 loan; and compliance with Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 which requires that economic opportunities generated by HUD financial assistance for housing and community development programs be targeted toward low and very low-income persons.
Major entities involved in contributing to the implementation of the city's housing and community development plan are as follows: the city ability to accesses Federal, State and local resources; City of Westminster Redevelopment Agency; and the Orange County Housing Authority. Private industry, non-profit housing organizations, regionally based organizations and citizen groups also contribute to implementation the plan. However, unfortunately, the city's Redevelopment Agency will have no funds to contribute to housing programs during the next six to eight years.
The Consolidated Plan describes the city's activities to enhance coordination between public and assisted housing providers, private and governmental health, and service agencies. The plan describes the means of cooperation and coordination among the State and any units of general local government in the implementation of the Consolidated Plan.
The city plans to spend approximately $1,425,000 in CDBG funds for 1995-1996 projects. A summary of some of the proposed projects includes:
Gang Prevention Education, Mobile Recreation Van, Youth Enhancement Program, TARGET Program and Code Enforcement is restricted to eligible CDBG areas of the city. All street/pavement rehabilitation projects will be done in target areas in low/moderate income neighborhoods. Senior Meals, Housing Rehabilitation and Fair Housing Counseling are provided city wide.
The city's Grants/Housing Office within the Community Development Department has been designated as the lead agency to manage, coordinate and implement the Consolidated Plan.
The following accomplishments have been proposed to provide affordable housing, rental housing and homeownership assistance for the 1995-2000 period, and assist extremely low, low and moderate income households: 132 new affordable units will be provided; 812 extremely low and low income renter households will be assisted; and a combined total of 110 single-family, mobilehomes and rental units will be rehabilitated.
MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).
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, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 depicts Neighborhood Segments and streets with proposed HUD funded projects.