The Orange County (Calif.) Register staffer Sarah de Crescenzo reports on the Alegre Apartments, the first development completed by the nonprofit Irvine Community Land Trust, which was established by the city in 2006 to help meet a goal of building 9,700 affordable dwellings.

She also details Orange County's severe housing crunch, where a typical home costs over $600,000 and rents run more than $1,800 a month on average.

According to a 2014 report by the California Housing Partnership Corporation, the county could use about 120,000 more affordable dwellings. It’s partly about economics and partly about attitude, say some affordable housing advocates.

“With the exception of a few cities in Orange County, I think there is really truly a lack of political will” for affordable housing, said Doug Bystry, a former member of the La Habra City Council who now is chief executive of Clearinghouse CDFI, a Lake Forest-based company that helps finance affordable construction.

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