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Orange County is battling its homeless problem head-on. With a homeless population of nearly 10,000, Orange County has a plan to develop 2,700 units of permanent supportive housing for low-income residents that are currently using emergency housing to stay off the streets. The housing will provide a stepping-stone for low-income residents to move out of emergency care. Of course, building 2,700 units is not an easy feat. The Association of California Cities-Orange County has introduced AB 448 to create the Orange County Housing Trust, a single-purpose joint powers authority or JPA that will allow the county to mix public and private funds to capitalize permanent supportive housing projects. The legislation has recieved tremendous support in Sacramento, and if passed next month, the 2,700 units will be delivered to market within the next two to seven years. We sat down with Heather Stratman, CEO of the Association of California Cities-Orange County, to talk about the Orange County Housing Trust, the 2,700-unit housing goal and how the community has responded to the concept.

Kelsi Maree Borland

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