Friday, March 19, 2010

Current Statistics on Homelessness in Orange County

*From the OC Community Indicators Report 2008

How is Orange County Doing?
Orange County’s Housing Wage rates increased in 2007:
• The hourly wage needed for a one-bedroom apartment rose from $23.81 in 2006 to $25.57 in 2007 – equivalent to an annual income
of $53,185.
• Among state and national peer metropolitan areas, Orange County has the highest Housing Wage (less affordable rental housing).
• According to employment projections, most of the occupations likely to have large gains in the county’s high-growth industries (services,
manufacturing, and retail trade) have hourly wages far below the Housing Wage.

(from page 26)



Description of Indicator

This indicator measures Orange County families’ progress toward
housing stability by tracking availability of rental assistance,
residential overcrowding, and homelessness. For additional countywide
housing trends see Housing Demand, Housing Affordability,
and Rental Affordability.

Why is it Important?
High housing costs in Orange County force many families into
overcrowded living conditions, which places stress on personal
relationships, housing stock, public services and infrastructure.
When sharing housing is not an option, or other factors such as
foreclosure, financial loss, or domestic violence arise, the result can
be homelessness.

How is Orange County Doing?
Residents might have to wait as long as seven years for rental
assistance vouchers unless conditions or funding levels change:
• In 2005, when the Orange County Housing Authority’s Section 8 waiting list was opened for the first time since 2001, 18,600 families applied for vouchers to help defray high housing costs.
• Santa Ana and Anaheim each have their own housing authority
and their vouchers are similarly in high demand.
• The voucher supply is limited because housing authorities have
not been given the opportunity to apply to the federal government
for additional housing vouchers since 2003.

In response to No Child Left Behind, public school districts now
report the number of students identified as homeless, which the law
defines as children living in shelters or unsheltered in cars, parks or
campgrounds, as well as students living in motels or
overcrowded conditions:
• In 2006/07, 13,130 Orange County students primarily in grades K-12 were identified as homeless or unstably housed.1
• This is a 13% increase over the past year.
• Families living doubled- or tripled-up in someone else’s home due to economic hardship are the largest cohort with 11,639 students living in this kind of overcrowded condition.
• Orange County school districts report an additional 813 students live in motels, 473 live in shelters, and 144 students live unsheltered in cars, parks or campgrounds.


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