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Homeless Information - Orange County

Orange County Housing Market

-In 2015, Orange County's population was 3.15 million. Orange County is the third-largest county in California. It is also the fifth-largest county in the nation, with more residents than 22 of the country's states (U.S. Census).

-Orange County is one of the least affordable counties to live in in the nation. The general cost of living is 43% above the U.S. average. Virtually all consumer price index figures, including but not limited to fees of fuel, insurance, utilities, food, and entertainment, are above the national average. (Economic Policy Institute, 2013; Smart class ).

-Orange County's housing market is one of the most expensive in the nation. As of July 2015, the median sales price for a home in Orange County is $616,300 (Zillow). In comparison, the median U.S. housing price is $281,800 (U.S. Census).

-Rental costs also have a similar gap. In 2015 U.S. national median rental price for a two-bedroom apartment was $803 (U.S. Census/Chart).  In Orange County, it was $1719 (HUD).

-Orange County renter must earn $29.75 an hour for their housing costs not to exceed 33% of their income.  That equals a $61,884 annual salary. In comparison, one in five Orange County households (20.5%) make less than $25,000 annually (U.S. Census).

-Given the above statistics, this means that a single parent with two children working two minimum wage jobs would pay 59.5% of their income towards housing to pay for a two-bedroom apartment. This affordability gap is one of the most significant contributing factors to homelessness.

​Orange County Homeless Statistics

-Contrary to popular belief, for a majority of individuals homelessness is a short-term occurrence. When asked how long it had been since their last permanent housing situation 56.7% of sheltered individuals in Orange County reported they had been homeless for less than a year. Only 22.6% had been in a shelter for more than 2 years (Orange County 10 Year Plan).

-A majority of homeless individuals are only homeless once in their life. In Orange County, the 2011 Point-in-Time count found that 70.2% of individuals had only faced one episode of homelessness in the preceding years (2011 Orange County PIT).

-The 2015 annual estimate for the unduplicated number of homeless people in Orange County was 15,291 persons. (2015 Orange County PIT).

-There are 66 shelters with approximately 3,400 beds in the Orange County area (Orange County 10 Year Plan).

-Family Homelessness is the fastest growing segment of the homeless population nationwide. According to the 2015 Point-in-Time count in Orange County, 31% of homeless adults reported having children under the age of 18 (2015 Orange County PIT).


-The Orange County Department of Education identified 32,510 homeless children in 2013-2014 school year. This totals just under 3.5% of all school age children.  This number includes 29,300 children who were double/tripled up living with friends or family due to economic hardship. There were 1730 children living in an established shelter, 1239 living in motels, and 241 living in their parent's vehicles or in parks or campgrounds (OC Department of Education).


Downloadable Resources on Homelessness

Orange County 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness - Excellent resource detailing current efforts in Orange County to address the problem of homelessness. 


2015 Orange County Point-In-Time Count  - The most up-to-date published information on homeless individuals in shelters or on the street in Orange County.

 2014 Dept of Housing and Urban Development Homelessness Report-  National statistics on the homeless.

2015 State of Homelessness in America - Statistics and Information published by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

HUD National Strategy to End Homelessness - U.S. master plan to end homelessness in America.