What is the Condition of Irvine's Housing Stock?

In a previous post, I wrote about the Irvine city council’s most recent encounter with the California Housing Element. Since the housing element will be fundamental in determining what is built or not built in Irvine, I thought I would review the document. Following is part of what I found.

Irvine’s housing element has many aspects, and one of these is a survey of the condition of Irvine’s housing stock. That is what I’ll look at today. The following information, which can be found in Irvine’s most recent housing element (2008-2014 Irvine Housing Element), is based on the 2008 Housing Conditions Survey. This survey focuses on seven areas in Irvine with high levels of older homes that were built before 1990. Therefore, not all Irvine neighborhoods are listed below. Note that much of the text found below is taken directly from the 2008-2014 Irvine Housing Element.

Here is a map of the areas that are the focus of the survey:

The grading system is as follows:

A – Good: No visible factors of deterioration evident

B – Fair: 1-2 actors of visible deterioration evident

C – Poor: 3-5 factors of visible deterioration evident

Area 1 – University Park, University Terrace, Parkside, Parkwood Apartments

  • Number of Homes Surveyed: 2,753

  • Type of Units:

    • University Park—single-family detached homes and condos

    • University Terrace and Parkside—single-family attached condos and townhomes

    • Parkwood Apartments—apartments

    • Condition of Homes:

  • Condition of Homes

    • University Park—Grade A

      • A few homes required minor roof repairs.

      • Six homes in the area received an A- due to missing/damaged roof shingles.

    • University Terrace and Parkside—Grade A (maintenance provided by HOA)

    • Parkwood Apartments—Grade A

Area 2 – Culverdale/Westpark

  • Number of Homes Surveyed: 3,112

  • Type of Units: predominately single-family detached homes

  • Condition of Homes: Grade A-

    • A small number of visible factors of deterioration evident existed.

    • Most of the houses needed numbers re-painted on the curbsides.

    • Some of the older houses had splintering support beams and sagging garage doors.

Area 3 – Orange Tree

  • Number of Homes Surveyed: 412

  • Type of Units: single-family (Although these homes are listed as single-family in the housing element, many of these homes would be considered as condos by some.)

  • Condition of Homes: Grade A

    • When compared to other neighborhoods in Irvine, Orange Tree consists of many older homes.

    • However, in spite of the large number of older homes, the quality of maintenance was high.

    • The high quality may be due to the existence of HOAs.

Area 4 – Deerfield Apartments, Deerfield Park, The Ranch, California Homes, The Willows

  • Number of Homes Surveyed: 2,573

  • Type of Units:

    • Deerfield Apartments—apartment

    • Deerfield Park–single family detached dwellings

    • The Ranch—older development

    • El Camino Glen development (formerly known as California Homes)— older development

    • The Willows—not listed in the housing element

  • Condition of Homes:

    • Deerfield—Grade A

      • The homes were in good condition considering this is an older multiple-family development.

      • No visual signs of deterioration existed.

      • The structures are sound.

    • Deerfield Park—Grade A

      • These homes were found to be in generally good condition.

      • A few homes required minor paint and roof repairs.

      • Nine homes in the area were identified as having cracked/peeling paint.

    • The Ranch—Grade B-

      • Many homes were undergoing roof repair or replacement.

      • Some homes had sub-par landscaping as well as poorly irrigated front lawns.

      • Most of the single-family homes were well kept.

    • El Camino Glen development (Formerly entitled California Homes) – Grade B-

      • One potential deferred maintenance condition is the need for garage repair or replacement.

      • Five homes on Yearling St. had warped, sagging, or missing garage doors.

      • A total of 16 homes within El Camino Glen were in need of garage replacement.

    • The Willows – Grade C+

      • Several homes were in need of roof repair, fresh paint, garage door replacement, window repair, and landscape up-keeping.

      • Many homes had chipped, weathered or damaged wooden fences across their front lawns.

      • Damaged front porch beams and unpaved driveways were other deferred maintenance conditions that were abundant across the neighborhood.

      • The Willows has no HOA.

Area 5 – Irvine Groves, College Park, Green Tree Park, The Colony, The Racquet Club

  • Number of Homes Surveyed: 2,461

  • Type of Units:

    • Irvine Groves—condominium style units (These are listed as condominium style units in the Irvine Housing Element; however, many of us would refer to these as mobile homes. Also, this is a 55+ community.)

    • College Park—detached homes

    • Green Tree Park—not identified in the housing element

    • The Colony—single-family homes

    • Racquet Club—not listed in the housing element but this is a detached single-family community

  • Condition of Homes:

    • Irvine Groves—Grade A

      • These homes were in good condition.

      • This was the best rated community in Area 5.

    • College Park—Grade B+

      • A moderate amount of homes needed minor repairs.

      • Many of the homes had dead lawns that might have been due to the season.

      • The pool area buildings showed some signs of deferred maintenance.

    • Green Tree Park— Grade B

      • Many houses had overgrown trees with poorly irrigated landscaping which resulted in signs of decay.

      • Due to damaged roofs, cracked driveways, warped garage doors, and fading paint, many houses were in need of upgrades.

      • Many houses were undergoing construction. In addition, the construction sites were substandard; large amounts of trash and debris were visible.

    • The Colony—Grade B

      • This was the most deteriorated community in the Area 5.

      • Cars were parked on the street for over 72 hours and seemed non-operational.

      • Most houses had curbside house numbers that were faded and hard to read.

      • Many houses had leaf build-up causing poor street run-off and drainage.

      • A large amounts of dead, unkempt trees existed on Hemingway and Utrillo.

    • Racquet Club—Grade B

      • Many homes had unsanitary garbage areas.

      • Many houses showed signs of decay, overgrown lawns, poor landscaping and leaf build-up.

      • The leaf build up in certain specific areas caused drainage issues.

      • Many houses in the area had cracked or asphalt driveways as well as weathered porch beams that were in need of upgrading or repair.

Area 6 – Woodbridge

  • Number of Homes Surveyed: 2,653

  • Type of Units: single-family detached and attached homes that are relatively new when compared to Irvine homes listed in the other six areas

  • Condition of Homes: Grade A with no evident signs of deterioration

Area 7 – Turtle Rock

  • Number of Homes Surveyed: 1,885

  • Type of Units: single-family detached homes

  • Condition of Homes: Grade A

    • These homes were in very good condition

    • No signs of deterioration or blight existed.

Here is what the Irvine Housing Element says about the condition of affordable housing in Irvine:

“Substandard conditions and the need for rehabilitation is not an issue with the City’s affordable housing inventory since units are well maintained by property owners. Moreover, like the rest of its housing stock, a majority of the City’s assisted units are fairly new and in good condition.”

And here is how the city is addressing housing that is in need of repair:

“To address deteriorating housing conditions, the City has operated a Residential Rehabilitation Program (RRP) since 2003. The purpose of RRP is to provide deferred loans and/or grants to very low, low and moderate income owners of single-family detached dwellings, townhomes, condominiums, and mobile homes for the preservation of decent safe and sanitary housing. The RRP corrects hazardous structural conditions, makes improvements considered necessary to eliminate blight, promotes the construction of healthy, sustainable and resource-efficient housing, improves disabled access, and corrects building, health and safety code violations. Financial assistance through the RRP previously only consisted of emergency grants up to $5,000 for emergency repairs such as leaking roofs, faulty plumbing or electrical wiring, or other necessary repairs. In 2010, the City established a loan program that provides three percent deferred loans of up to $25,000 to assist low-income Irvine homeowners with critical home improvement needs.”

Planning for the Irvine’s next housing element, which will be in effect for eight years, is currently in process. The planning commission and city council will be discussing the new version this year and next. So stay tuned to see how Irvine’s new housing element compares to the current housing element.

Discuss below or at Talk Irvine.

3 thoughts on “What is the Condition of Irvine's Housing Stock?

  1. irvine_home_owner

    This is a great article.

    You can drive around these areas and pretty much see how these grades came about.

    I’m surprised there wasn’t an area for Northwood as that’s one of the older ‘hoods in Irvine.

  2. Sylvia Walker

    Northwood is one of the older areas. But, in spite of no HOAs and the fact that it is an older area, it is in good condition for the most part. I am guessing that the housing element was trying to focus on the areas that were more likely to be in poor shape.

  3. Sylvia Walker

    I should add that Nothwood is an area with a lot of different housing types. I was thinking of the single-family homes in Northwood for the most part.

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