Purpose of the Toolkit – What OCBC’s role is

Like all markets, pricing within the Orange County housing market reflects numerous factors of supply and demand. Property and land are unique in that availability and supply can be restricted by such means as zoning regulations and the provision of infrastructure. Given this fact, public officials play a role in affecting the market price of housing through policy. Likewise, market factors, such as income driving demand, the costs of production, and the availability of capital and lending, all affect levels of supply. Provided that public officials are aware of larger market factors and that the interplay of home builder and home buyer is understood, there are several approaches by which public officials and the business community can positively impact the affordability of housing without negatively affecting existing property values or market equilibrium.

Principles of Workforce Housing in Orange County

The purpose and use of workforce housing initiatives are driven in part by the following principles:

  • Ensuring long-term economic viability
  • Attracting and retaining employees and new businesses
  • Preservation of a long term sense of community
  • Ensuring housing stock is available for purchase or rent for a wide variety of age groups
  • Providing greater amounts of the population access to more residential locations (Choice)
  • Enhancing opportunities for local economic development
  • Locating residents and businesses centrally to universities and economic centers
  • Ensuring housing policies that provide economically efficient solutions that meet adequate cost/benefit criteria
  • Stimulating housing development
  • Providing a wide choice of housing unit type

Evaluating Strategies and Programs

As a guide to acquaint the user with how the toolkit can be utilized, there are numerous factors to weigh in considering which types of new development or policy steps should be undertaken.

These include:

  • Short-Term impacts
  • Long-Term impacts
  • Impact to Affordability
  • Positive Cost Impact
  • Public Acceptance
  • Policy Maker Acceptance
  • Cost Feasibility/ Marketability
  • Public vs. Private Initiatives
  • Allowing for Local Control
  • Supply Side or Demand Side Impacts
  • Likelihood of Program Success
  • Overall Impact