2016 ACE: Award of Excellence
If nothing changes, Orange County's shortage of housing will drive out workers and drag down the region's robust economy, a local business group warns. In a report out Tuesday, the Orange County Business Council projects that the county's housing shortfall will deepen sharply unless communities there build more apartments and houses at a greater density.
Orange County’s future prosperity hinges on the region’s ability to create a healthy, prosperous economy that promotes both jobs and housing, not one at the expense of the other. In fact, the county recently ranked second in the nation for millennials migrating out to other areas due to high housing costs. This is a huge loss to the economy, to Orange County Business Council’s (OCBC) member companies, and a critical issue that must be addressed if Orange County is to continue to grow as a major leader in jobs and business growth in California.
To help propel this discussion and encourage progress, OCBC produced the 2015 Workforce Housing Scorecard, which examines and analyzes the current and projected housing trends, provides a preview of where Orange County’s workforce housing future, and how it will impact demographic, economic, and business competitiveness factors. The scorecard was released in February 2015 at an event with over 100 community developers, business leaders, elected officials, and the media.
The Scorecard garnered statewide attention and ignited a robust discussion on the need to address not just the county’s housing crisis, but the entire state’s. It continues to be the go-to resource of housing data for Orange County.
Following this success, we noticed a trend of reluctance on city councils, whose decisions hold the key to creating more housing opportunity. OCBC partnered with Orange County Realtors Association to produce an educational video showcasing the data in relatable terms, and highlighting the critical need for housing to keep the county’s economy and community vibrant.
The video was released through OCBC’s newsletter reaching over 10,000 contacts across the state, to all major California media outlets, through social media, and was republished on many partner chamber newsletters. Just online, the video has achieved over 1,000 views. However, the real progress made is through its visibility at dozens of chamber, town hall and city council meetings; effectively reaching over 1,000 community and electeds to educate on the need for housing. In fact, the city of Mission Viejo City Council just voted to increase housing within its city — in large part to the persuasion of the scorecard and OCBC, OCAR and Building Industry Association OC partnership.
The overhead costs have been minimal as the partnership already allowed for an existing and robust communication channel. The total video production cost was $7,000.