The City, like every community in the State, is required by State law to establish zones and development standards that can result in the development of housing for specific income levels defined by the State. These levels include Very Low Income/Low Income/Moderate Income/and Above-Moderate Income categories. These income levels are defined by the State and are based on the Area Median Income (AMI) of the county. These income levels are reviewed annually by the State. Housing for persons of Very Low Income, Low Income, and Moderate Income is commonly referred to as “affordable housing.” The income levels associated with each type of housing is depicted below. (Source - https://www.hcd.ca.gov/grants-funding/income-limits/state-and-federal-income-limits/docs/Income-Limits-2019.pdf).
In addition, the City is required to designate one or more zones where an emergency homeless shelter can be established “by right” without a public hearing. The State also requires the City to allow facilities that serve homeless families and individuals in all multifamily zones without a public hearing. These requirements are currently contained in State law in Government Code Sections 65583 – 65589.3.
March 2021 Update:
The state has published a new summary of the income limits for the various income categories it tracks. For Orange County the 2020 income limits are: