The purpose of this study is to establish a cost benefit analysis to assist the county in making the best economic decisions on how it allocates funding for permanent supportive housing and other forms of affordable housing.
Irvine, CA (PRWEB) June 26, 2017
Jamboree Housing Corporation and Orange County United Way collaborated on a comprehensive study conducted by the University of California, Irvine about the state of homelessness in Orange County to better understand its financial, social and political implications and find ways to end it.
The wide-ranging study leverages Jamboree’s experience building permanent supportive housing (PSH), coupled with the work of Orange County’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness and Orange County United Way’s FACE 2024 (Fund, Advocate, Collaborate, Educate) strategic plan. The study is being conducted by a research team from the University of California, Irvine, Department of Sociology.
The Cost of Homelessness study, the final results of which are due out later this summer, provides several recommendations to address the current wave of homelessness in California. “On a single night in 2016, more than 118,000 people experienced homelessness in California – 22 percent of the entire nation’s homeless population,” according to the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in a January report, California’s Housing Future: Challenges and Opportunities.
Although an enormously challenging problem, California has several programs designed to reduce homelessness and improve the health and well being of formerly homeless individuals and families. One of the newer programs is the “No Place Like Home” initiative. Other funding sources include the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) project-based vouchers, the state’s Veterans Housing & Homeless Prevention Program (VHHP), and funding is still available under Proposition 41 to provide multifamily housing for veterans experiencing homelessness.
While there have been a number of cost studies across other major localities in the U.S. and in California, this is the first cost study for Orange County. “The purpose of this study is to establish a cost benefit analysis to assist the county in making the best economic decisions on how it allocates funding for permanent supportive housing and other forms of affordable housing,” explained Laura Archuleta, Jamboree president. “The question is how to best allocate available housing funds and other resources that will provide housing for those people with the greatest need – including the homeless – balanced alongside the development of affordable housing for working families.”
The Cost of Homelessness Study executive summary outlines the two primary objectives, highlights the widespread data gathering researchers conducted, reveals the costs involved, points to four key findings, puts forth five preliminary recommendations to formulate measures designed to achieve a higher level of housing for the county’s homeless population – and to realize the cost savings associated with permanent housing. The study concludes that Orange County could save an estimated $42 million a year if all its chronically homeless people were able to live in permanent supportive housing.
Officials at Orange County United Way point to the tremendous value of this study as it demonstrates clearly how the costs of homelessness negatively impact everyone in the community. Furthermore, it makes clear that these costs can be lowered significantly by actually providing housing.
University of California Professor David Snow, a distinguished professor of sociology and the study’s academic leader, emphasized the importance of having a diversity of housing types to serve Orange County’s homeless population ranging from transitory bridge housing to permanent supportive housing. The preliminary findings indicate that when it comes to housing the homeless, one size doesn’t fit all.
The initial findings of the Cost of Homelessness study point to the need to provide a more collaborative solution to ending homelessness in Orange County. Jamboree points to recent successes in permanent supportive housing development as key to ending homelessness in Orange County. As it continues its strategy to be a primary developer of housing for the homeless in California, Jamboree is moving ahead on several different fronts to be both a developer of permanent supportive housing for the homeless and a community advocate for homeless families and individuals.
Actively pursuing opportunities to develop housing for homeless veterans, most recently, Jamboree was awarded 75 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) project-based vouchers by the City of Santa Ana, CA, to help finance the development of 75 supportive housing units for homeless Orange County veterans who will also receive employment, health and other services. Concurrently with Santa Ana, the City of Sacramento awarded Jamboree 25 VASH vouchers for The Studios at Hotel Berry, Jamboree’s single-resident occupancy (SRO) property in downtown Sacramento.
Also, developing affordable housing for homeless families, last fall Jamboree celebrated the opening of its Rockwood Apartments in Anaheim, CA, a 70-unit, multifamily property that provides quality affordable housing for formerly homeless families and individuals living with mental illness.
To receive a full copy of the Cost of Homelessness in Orange County study once its released, email Mary Jo Goelzer at Jamboree.
Mary Jo Goelzer
VP Marketing & Communications
Jamboree Housing Corporation