Fri. Sep 29th, 2023

Santa Ana's Housing Shortage

Santa Ana’s Housing Shortage: Will there ever be enough?



By Chris Taylor, INvision Santa Ana

With an average of 4.4 people per household, Santa Ana is one of the most overcrowded cities in the nation.i According to the 2013 Orange County Community Indicators Report, Santa Ana has the largest household size in Orange County and the 10th highest in the nation. ii To put that into perspective, if Santa Ana were to achieve the same average as the rest of Orange County, it would have to add 32,246 (or 41% more) housing units to the existing 76,896, and this does not even account for additional housing needs as a result of population growth in the near future. However, the most worrisome thing surrounding these facts is that the city and its leaders have completely inadequate goals to alleviate this enormous problem.

The city recently issued the new 2014-2021 General Plan Housing Element and I’d like to take this opportunity to point out some concerning parts of that plan here. For some reason, the city has recognized the immense overcrowding problem in the previous and current plans, yet has grossly failed to address the housing shortage. Even more worrisome is that in the last plan there was at least a call for more housing despite the inadequacy of these goals and the lack of follow-through; yet, in the current plan it seems that the city has decided to pretend that this problem doesn’t exist at all. Compare the following paragraphs taken from the same part of the respective plans:

2008-2014 General Plan Housing Element, pg. A-5:

Changes in household type and size together significantly affect the need for different types of housing. The increase in family households with children will continue to result in a significant demand for larger units that are well suited to accommodating children. Increasing the overall supply of housing may provide opportunities and help alleviate some of the overcrowding pressures in the City.  At the same time, providing more housing opportunities for the aging baby boomers will allow seniors a greater opportunity to stay in the community.

2014-2021 General Plan Housing Element, pg. A-5:

Changes in household type and size together significantly affect the need for different types of housing. Preserving and rehabilitating the existing supply of housing may provide opportunities and help alleviate some of the overcrowding pressures in the City. At the same time, providing more housing opportunities for the aging baby boomers will allow seniors a greater opportunity to stay in the community.

Why did this change? Clearly, a shift was made from wanting to increase housing to rehabilitating the existing housing. Yet, as is indicated from the facts above, this is the wrong move. It’s hard to believe that the reasoning is other than putting one’s head in the sand at the realization that the housing problem is just too difficult to solve. So, what exactly are the city’s housing goal numbers?

2008-2014 City of Santa Ana General Plan Housing Element, pg. 53
2008-2014 City of Santa Ana General Plan Housing Element, pg. 53
2014-2021 City of Santa Ana General Plan Housing Element, pg. 51
2014-2021 City of Santa Ana General Plan Housing Element, pg. 51

Once again, it seems that there is an acknowledgement of the overcrowding in some parts of the General Plan, yet when it comes time to addressing the problem with realistic goals the city embarrassingly falls short. As mentioned above, just to catch up to current housing needs the city needs an additional 32,246 housing units, but the city’s current housing goals for the next 8 years is to add approximately 3,200 housing units! This is crazy! Where are all the residents (current and future) supposed to go?

Does this mean that if someone were to come to Santa Ana with unique housing solutions to alleviate the overcrowding problem that they would not be supported by the city, or even worse, turned away? What do you think?

To review the current General Plan Housing Element in its entirety download it here: http://www.ci.santa-ana.ca.us/housingelement/documents/2014-2021SantaAnaHE_HCDSubmittal_Nov2013_FullDocument.pdf

i2010 US Census
ii2014-2021 City of Santa Ana General Plan Housing Element, pg. A-5
This website is a public square discussion about the future of Santa Ana framed outside the political bureaucracy. Our mission is to grow prosperity, acting as a watchdog to facilitate government efficiency and hold it accountable for doing more with less. We are not part of government, but want to make it more efficient. This only works with community participation and if we let our collective voices be heard.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

2 thoughts on “Will there ever be enough housing in Santa Ana?”
  1. Stupid beaners
    those who cant afford santa ana , go to stanton or the ie ans f*ck up that city, we dont want your kind , since you can progress or adapt , have you seen evergreen cedar,?!? Wish chase whould invesr and buy out that neightborhood and clean it out

  2. I am not Hispanic and just signed a lease for a one bedroom apartment in DTSA that costs nearly $200 to $400 more a month than comparable housing in Anaheim. It took me two months just to find a unit. So goes supply and demand. But the city leaders really need to address the issue of creating more opportunities for employment and affordable housing if they intend to realize their Utopian dreams of downtown re-gentrification with the train running down the middle of Fourth St. with all the high-end lofts built over trendy shops, upscale eateries and nightclubs on every block.
    Watch out if you are elderly, disabled, homeless or otherwise living at or near the poverty level because you are not included in the current 5 year strategy. That means that you’ll be replaced in the community by those of higher income. They want you all to leave and their not planning on developing a nice little part of the city for you and other low-income residents to relocate to ever.
    They sold you out and they just don’t care.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Verified by MonsterInsights