CalOptima awards $52.3M to local nonprofits to spur creation of more affordable housing in Southern California

CalOptima Health, the Medi-Cal managed care plan for Orange County, is awarding $52.3 million in grants to accelerate the creation of affordable and permanent housing.

The grants will go to 15 grantees to acquire, construct and upgrade a total of 706 housing units to support people experiencing homelessness in Orange County. The grantees include social services nonprofits, housing developers and local government agencies. 

The grants are tied to the plan’s participation in the Department of Health Care Services’ Housing and Homelessness Incentive Program. The program aims to prevent and address housing insecurity for Medi-Cal members by helping ensure a clear path into housing and access to services needed to remain housed.

“Our partnership with community organizations dedicated to expanding housing resources will transform the lives of thousands of Orange County residents,” Michael Hunn, CEO of CalOptima Health, said in an announcement. “Having a home provides the security and peace of mind people need so they can strengthen their health and wellness. Housing is health.”

The organizations being awarded funding are: 

  • Anaheim Housing Authority

  • C&C Development

  • City of Anaheim — Housing and Community Development Department

  • City of Brea

  • City of Yorba Linda

  • Community Development Partners

  • Families Forward

  • Illumination Foundation

  • Jamboree Housing Corp.

  • Kingdom Causes (City Net)

  • Mercy Housing California

  • National Community Renaissance of California 

  • Shelter Providers of Orange County Inc. (HomeAid Orange County)

  • The Eli Home

  • WISEplace 

The grantees have proposed a variety of project types aiming to represent diverse communities and geographies across Orange County. The Anaheim Housing Authority plans to use its funding to convert 89 units at a former Motel 6 into permanent supportive housing. 

Meanwhile, Jamboree Housing Corp. will use its award to convert an existing motel in Santa Ana into housing for veterans and other people experiencing homelessness.

Families Forward, a nonprofit focused on ending family homelessness, plans to build affordable housing units in Tustin for families with minor children. All residents will have access to the organization’s supportive services aimed at building economic mobility and a nurturing environment for children. 

The investment comes amid growing payer attention to housing and street medicine efforts to reach the unhoused, particularly in California. The state is currently beleaguered by a housing crisis. Approximately 69,000 Los Angeles residents are currently experiencing homelessness, with the city declaring a state of emergency at the start of this year