OCBC Director Susan Hori Participates in OC Forum Panel

On Monday, December 2, OCBC Director Susan Hori, of Manatt, participated in OC Forum’s 2020 Housing Outlook panel with Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva and Paul Johnson, Executive Vice President of Community Development.

While Quirk-Silva emphasized the need to build significantly more housing in Orange County, Director Hori recognized that there are numerous regulatory hurdles, such as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), hindering cities from reaching Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) targets set for Orange County.

Director Hori also stressed that incentives would be more effective for local governments than handcuffs. In addition, she urged reusing vacant or underperforming retail sites for new housing, as these locations are familiar with development and could be closer to transit, as recommended by OCBC’s 2018 Retail Study.

Mr. Johnson predicted that 2020 will be a slower year for the housing market, and that homeownership among millennials in Orange County is starting to increase. The panel forecasted that 2020 will be a challenging year for housing policy, housing policy will need to evolve, and all housing stakeholders must focus to deliver affordability and attainability.

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