California Assembly passes series of homelessness bills
Amidst a busy time in the Legislature, the California Assembly approved a series of bills addressing homelessness in recent weeks.
A press release from the office of Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia highlights four recently-passed homelessness bills related to transparency, funding, and accountability. The bills have now crossed over to the Senate for consideration.
The list includes:
- AB 1845: This bill would establish the Office to End Homelessness within the governor’s office. The new office would be under the direction of the Secretary on House Insecurity and Homelessness and would be charged with coordinating homelessness services, policies, programs, and data among local, state, and federal agencies. The office would also advise the governor on new policies and programs related to homelessness, establish a process to track and assist individuals leaving state-funded institutions who are at risk of homelessness, and examine and promote racially and gender equitable polices for agencies that provide housing and services for those experiencing homelessness.
- AB 3269: The Assembly also passed legislation requiring the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to set benchmark goals to reduce homelessness for state and local agencies, and in turn, requires each agency to develop a plan to achieve those benchmarks. The benchmark will set a percent homelessness reduction goal to be achieved by January 1, 2028. Each county and city will need to adopt an actionable plan and will submit annual progress reports to HCD. The bill also establishes the Office of the Housing and Homelessness Inspector General to monitor the progress of state and local agencies’ adopted plans and audit their compliance.
- AB 2746: This legislation aims to increase transparency by requiring recipients of programs that address homelessness to provide specific data to the agencies they receive funding from. Under the legislation, local governments and non-profits receiving funding from CalWORKs, Whole Person Care pilot programs, and the Housing Disability Income Advocacy Program will need to report on the amount of funding spent, progress on meeting performance measures, the number of homeless served, and details on the type of housing assistance provided.
- AB 3300: This bill, also known as the California Access to Housing and Services Act, establishes the California Access to Housing Fund and appropriates up to $2 billion annually to the fund to address homelessness. The bill stipulates that 55% of the funding will go to counties and continuums of care, 45% will go to large cities, and 5% is slated for developers operating in unincorporated areas. Counties and Continuums of Care will need to provide a 25% match to a grant from the fund, and will need to report details of the funding impact.
“Addressing homelessness and keeping Californians safe and sheltered remains a priority of our legislative work. Ensuring that all Californians have a safe place to call home is an issue that predated this pandemic and has become all the more urgent in upholding the health, dignity, and safety of our communities,” said Garcia in a statement. “These legislative measures and additional funds will help build upon our district’s strategic efforts to alleviate homelessness.”