Governor signs bill to help reduce homelessness in Orange County

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Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed a bill that will establish the Orange County Housing Trust, a public-private effort that’s expected to finance 2,700 units of “supportive housing” for the homeless.

The California Apartment Association supported the bill, AB 448, which was introduced by Assemblymembers Tom Daly, D-Anaheim, and Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, and sponsored by the Association of California Cities – Orange County.

AB 448 will create a single-purpose joint-powers authority that will serve as convener of all stakeholders and collaborators for the production of supportive housing in Orange County.

The bill represents a bipartisan effort to tackle Orange County’s homelessness issues. Republican co-authors include state Sens. John Moorlach of Costa-Mesa, Pat Bates of Laguna Niguel, and Janet Nguyen of Garden Grove.

“Done properly, the homeless community will be assisted,” Moorlach writes in this op-ed in the Orange County Register.  “Best of all, it will free our parks and public places — and our front lawns — for you and your families, by helping the homeless get treatment for their mental and other illnesses.”

According to a recent UC Irvine study, Orange County government and its 34 cities, along with non-governmental organizations, could save $42 million annually by moving homeless individuals from the streets into permanent supportive housing, a legislative staff analysis says.

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