Dunn Housing/Homelessness Q1
Housing affordability, homelessness and—add to that–demands for rent control as rents increase exponentially–are all by-products of a decades-long failure by local elected officials to plan for, and encourage builders to build enough housing supply and choices, in a variety of price ranges, for a growing population, thriving jobs market and strong economy. According to Governor Newsom, the state needs 3.5 million homes to accommodate current population and jobs growth. Overall, the state has not built enough to meet the annual need since 1989, thus the crisis today.
According to Orange County Business Council, Orange County needs 58,000 homes, condos, and apartments–a number which will grow to nearly 100,000 by 2030. It is Economics 101: if supply is constrained (not enough homes built), and demand is high (strong jobs market, desirable location), then home prices rise, affecting affordability, and at its worst, results in homelessness. Sheltering homeless may even be more expensive as supportive services are needed (medical care, mental health care, addiction issues, job assistance, etc.) with housing to avoid a return to homelessness.