UCI Study Finds Affordable Housing Increases Property Values, Lowers Crime

Published on June 6, 2022


The need for affordable housing in Orange County is evident as the price to buy a home reaches record highs.

George Tita, University of California, Irvine professor of criminology, law and society, directs UCI Livable Cities Lab.

The lab conducted a study, which looked at the impact affordable housing has on communities in the O.C.

"There is a shortage of 65,000 housing units in Orange County right at this moment," Tita said.

He said the study looked at data three years before, and three years after affordable developments moved into neighborhoods. He said the findings of the study debunk the myth that affordable housing increases crime.

"We saw that robbery and assault went down after the housing units opened," Tita said.

In addition, he said they also added value to people's homes by about $16,000.

"We are confident in being able to say that when it comes to housing prices, we see a very large increase on the average sales price and square footage valuation of a home, right after the opening of affordable units," Tita said.

The city of Irvine has the most affordable housing units than any other community in Orange County, according to Tita.

"It just goes to prove that you can have a lot of affordable housing, and be voted the safest city in America for 16 years running," Tita said.

And according to Tita, the shortage in affordable housing is because it is more expensive to build, and issues with zoning and permitting.

UCI is a platinum-level Leaders Circle partner of the Greater Irvine Chamber.