Latest Orange County Housing Task Force idea would just add fuel to NIMBY fire

Before we begin, I need to say that I’m trying to find something that Orange County Affordable Housing Task Force is doing well so I can offer something positive about them. Unfortunately, besides their existence I can’t find any progress that isn’t either information that we didn’t know before or something that only serves the lobbyists, developers, and real estate leaders that make up a large part of this task force.

This week, the group discussed opening up zoning in Orange County to allow the opportunity for more affordable housing to be built (story HERE).

What this means is making it easier for developers to build high density housing.

Yeah, a lot of Orange County residents aren’t going to like that. Not in my backyard. Or NIMBY.

You see, it’s hard enough to find places where people want high density housing now. They’ll protest at commission meetings. They’ll threaten to move. They don’t want the extra cars on the road, and then there is the stigma we’ve talked about before where people don’t want any “affordable housing” near them at all.

We do need to acknowledge that the part of this plan that would let owners rent accessory dwellings (Mother in Law suites, garage apartements) is not a bad idea. Currently, they can only rent to family members.

But if anything, opening up these codes would really just benefit developers and real estate “higher ups”.

The kind of people that sit on this board and are supposed to be thinking about ways to help others.

I’m taking this affordable housing problem seriously. I’m currently going through it (story HERE) and while my situation isn’t as bad as some, what I’ve been seeing from this task force is not encouraging.

Not only are they still just talking. They’re only talking about ways to help their own businesses.

Let’s reserve final judgement on this task force for the findings which are due to the Orange County Mayor next month and the County Commission in December.

But we shouldn’t be impressed by what we saw during this process. It as just one big photo opp and resume padder that isn’t helping us get people off of the street faster.


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