Mission Viejo – On Tuesday evening, the Mission Viejo City Council voted to approve a resolution in support of the Housing Futures Initiative developed by the Building Industry Association/Orange County Chapter (BIA/OC) in collaboration with the Orange County Business Council and the Orange County Association of REALTORS®.

The purpose of this initiative is to find ways to make available additional housing across a broad spectrum of price ranges as a means of encouraging both businesses and employees to locate in, and remain in, Orange County.

“Orange County is losing 7 percent of its population between the ages of 25 and 34, while surrounding counties are showing an increase,” BIA/OC CEO Mike Balsamo said. “Cities can help reverse this trend by examining existing zoning codes and revising land-use recommendations to create incentives for housing that is accessible and affordable to a broader range of people.”

Mission Viejo, one of the largest cities in Orange County, is currently studying underutilized spaces for revitalization. “By considering the recommendations listed in the Housing Futures Initiative—many of which are specifically called out in the Housing Element of Mission Viejo’s General Plan—the Mission Viejo City Council has demonstrated its willingness to help address the region’s housing shortage,” declared Balsamo.

“Taking a look at initiatives like this one is extremely important,” said Mission Viejo Mayor Frank Ury. “The current cost to put a shovel in the ground to start building a house is $130,000. Mission Viejo is either part of the solution or we’re a bystander.”

“Making local policy makers more aware of the ways in which a housing shortage affects major employers, economic growth, and the health of local neighborhoods is an important part of the BIA/OC’s mission,” said Balsamo. “We plan to work with other cities and coalition partners to bring more attention to this issue in the future.”

The BIA is a nonprofit trade association of more than 1,100 companies employing over 100,000 people affiliated with the home building industry here in Orange County. Its mission is to champion housing as the foundation of vibrant and sustainable communities.