$4.8 Million Awarded for Housing Projects in Orange and San Diego Counties

November 13, 2020 Updated: November 15, 2020

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has awarded over $4.8 million in state grants to fund housing-related projects in Orange and San Diego counties.

State Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel)—who announced a $4 million award from California’s Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) program on Nov. 9 and an additional $800,000 grant earmarked for north San Diego County on Nov. 12—said the funds will be used to help create affordable housing in the region.

“This funding will help house more people who are homeless and create more affordable long-term housing opportunities,” Bates said in a press release. “I will continue to work with stakeholders to build on existing efforts to alleviate California’s housing crisis.”

The County of Orange will receive $1,272,164 of the PLHA grant. The money will be used to subsidize operating costs for the county’s navigation centers, emergency shelters, and associated administration.

Also in Orange County, the City of Rancho Santa Margarita will receive $101,396 for operating subsidies for permanent supportive housing.

As part of the grant, San Diego County will receive $1,979,966 for new construction of rental housing and homebuyer assistance, and the City of Oceanside will receive $649,151 for new construction of emergency shelters.

The PHLA program was designed in 2017 to provide a permanent source of funding, derived from state real estate document fees, to help cities and counties implement plans to increase the availability of affordable housing. The yearly revenues fluctuate, depending on the number of real estate transactions.

Bates also announced on Nov. 12 that the HCD has awarded another $800,000 in Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) grants to two cities in north San Diego County to help create more housing supply. The grants will go to Oceanside ($500,000) and Encinitas ($300,000).

“The grants will aid in the cities’ efforts to provide for their housing needs now and in the future. I will continue to work to ensure that our region receives its fair share of state funding,” Bates said in a Nov. 12 press release.

Oceanside will use the funds for redevelopment, while Encinitas will use its grant to encourage mixed-use development and increased public participation in planning, according to the release.

HCD established the $119 million LEAP program to provide cities and counties with housing-related grants after California Gov. Gavin Newsom allocated $250 million for planning activities to accelerate housing production in the 2019–2020 state budget.

Bates had previously announced LEAP grant awards for other Orange County cities, including Aliso Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, and Rancho Santa Margarita.

She is a member of the state Senate Housing Committee and represents Southern California’s District 36. The district includes cities in Orange and San Diego counties, including Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, and Encinitas.