In June 2018 the Board of Supervisors approved a Housing Funding Strategy in response to the crisis of homelessness and a shortage of supportive housing and affordable housing in Orange County. It set a target for the development of 2,700 new supportive housing units within six years and identified a need for an additional 2,700 affordable housing units during the same time period. The Housing Funding Strategy identified all the funding sources for both capital and operating funding. While these numbers are significant it is not enough to fill the funding gap needed to achieve the target housing units.
On September 11, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 448 into law which authorized the creation of the Orange County Housing Finance Trust. AB 448 allowed the County of Orange and any of the cities within Orange County to mutually create a joint powers authority. The collaborative effort will allow the Orange County region to be more competitive and access additional funding sources available to address the homelessness and affordability crisis.
Following the passage of AB 448, the County worked with representatives from the Association of California Cities Orange County to form a collaborative working group, comprised of elected officials and staff from both the County and cities to establish the initial framework for the OCHFT.
On March 12, 2019, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved the OCHFT Joint Powers Authority Agreement. As of June 2019, OCHFT has 17 member agencies.