Orange County urged to build more homes

Like many other parts of developed California, Orange County is running out of room.

An area that was once synonymous with economic expansion and opportunity now faces the same dramatic housing pressures as other parts of the state – particularly along the coast.

A new report from the  Orange County Business Council estimates that the county faces a shortfall of 62,000 homes and apartments to meet the needs of its workforce.

The study estimates the county needs 50,000 new housing units to keep up with demand.

“Unless the pace of construction picks up, demographers project the shortfall will grow to 100,000 homes by 2040,” the Orange County Register reports.

“Orange County cities stand at a crossroads – whether to plan for the future or remain stuck in the past, whether to be leaders in addressing the region-wide workforce housing challenge or not,” the report states.

“Orange County’s workforce housing supply holds the key to continued job creation, economic growth and economic competitiveness. Supply must catch up with demand.”

The call for more development has raised concerns from some local activists concerned about the current drought. More housing, and more people, means more water use, they say. 

But local officials argue more can be done with conservation to reduce water consumption and meet demands for a booming state population.