BREA, Calif. — TruMark Homes will begin accepting applications from income-qualified people to purchase one of 20 affordable housing townhomes at its new West Village housing development.

The Flats at West Village is part of Brea's Central Park Village, a more than $100 million, 15-acre mixed-use master-planned community at the Brea Community Hospital's former site. The project sits on the southwest corner of West Central Avenue and Site Drive and across the street from a new one-acre community park and a new four-story medical office building.

What You Need To Know

  • TruMark will begin accepting applications for 20 affordable housing units at its Flats at West Village development in Brea on Saturday

  • The affordable townhomes will range in cost from a one-bedroom for $320,000 to a three-bedroom unit for $499,000

  • The city of Brea requires housing developers to set aside 10% of a development for affordable housing

  • The buyer of the affordable housing cannot sell the home at the market rate for 45 years

TruMark's West Village development features 62 customizable three-story attached townhomes starting from the high $700,000s. Twenty homes are for sale for income-qualified buyers. All homes feature walk-in closets, in-home washer/dryer space, an outdoor deck, direct garage access, kitchen islands, and double-vanity master bathrooms.

The affordable housing offering includes one-bedroom units ranging in size from 791 to 1,000 square feet and will start at $320,000. A two-bedroom, 1,000 to 1,200 square feet unit is going for $420,000, and a three-bedroom, 1,600 square foot unit is selling for $499,000.

The development's affordable housing component underscores the importance of making affordable housing for people often priced out in Orange County's hot real estate market.

Driven by low mortgage interest rates and lack of housing supply, the price of homes in Orange County are at an all-time high.

"Clearly, affordable housing is front and center as a key issue in California," said Richard Douglass, president of Trumark Southern California Division, in an email to Spectrum News 1. "Often these units are mandated by the state and are pushed down to cities and ultimately to the building community in a variety of forms. We are in favor of affordable housing, and believe our offering at West Village is an excellent design. But we also believe it's critical to address the issue in a fresh manner, statewide, and it will be critical to reduce outdated regulations and barriers to entry. The existing statewide paradigm simply has not worked to the level that is needed."

Last month, the average price of a home in Brea sold for $832,000, according to Reports on Housing, a hyper-local real estate data site. The current average listing of a home in Brea is $956,000.

"The supply of homes is at a record low, and demand is off the charts. As a result, the market has been hot from day one of 2021," said Steven Thomas, chief economist at Reports on Housing, about Orange County's real estate market in his latest newsletter.

The TruMark development is part of the city of Brea's affordable housing homebuyer program. Brea requires every developer to set aside at least 10% of a housing development's units for sale at a below-market price for income-qualified buyers.

For example, according to the city, a two-person household needs to make less than 98,900 to qualify for the program. A four-person family has to make less than $123,600. According to the city, the applicant must have at least $10,000 in their bank account to serve as a 3% down payment and closing costs.

Once purchased, the buyer also cannot sell the home at a market rate price for at least 45 years, according to the city. The applicant does not need to reside in or work in Brea to qualify for the program. However, extra points are awarded to those applicants who live in and or work in the city, according to the city.

Applications to qualify for the program will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 30.

"With California home values continuing to rise, it has never been more crucial to provide residents with affordable housing options," Douglas said.