Our Positions on California Bills, Budget, and Programs
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Important! These affordable housing and homelessness bills and budget asks affect all Californians, our organizations, and the people we all serve. Please keep us on the ground in the State Capitol to advocate for these important bills and asks by becoming a Housing California member. Find out if you're already a member. If not, please learn more about Housing California membership.
June 27, 2019: Housing California supports Governor Newsom and the California legislature's historic $2.7 billion deal to address housing affordability and homelessness. This deal, which includes $650 million specifically targeted to providing permanent homes, rental assistance, and navigation services to decrease homelessness, is the largest general fund allocation for affordable housing and homelessness in California’s recent history. See our full statement on the announcement here.
May 8, 2019 Budget Request Letter: Housing California, the Big City Mayors, and more than 100 organizations have signed on to a budget letter requesting 1) $1 billion, one time, to fund a Flexible Pool for Housing and Services, that would provide for rental assistance, services, and more to reduce homelessness; 2) $500 million per year, ongoing, for the state Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program; 3) $300 million per year, ongoing, in additional investments, including funding for youth experiencing homelessness, people experiencing homelessness incurring high costs, and people at risk of eviction.
February 12, 2019 Budget Request Letter (email Chris Martin to sign on): Housing California and more than 55 organizations so far have signed on to a budget letter requesting 1) $500 million per year, ongoing, for the state Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program; 2) $100 million per year, ongoing, to end youth homelessness; and 3) $2 billion, one time, to fund a Flexible Housing Program for rental assistance, services, and more to address homelessness.
January 15, 2019 Executive Order: Developing Affordable Housing on State Lands: The executive order directs the Department of General Services (DGS) to take an inventory of all state-owned lands for potential development no later than April 30, 2019. The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and Housing Finance Agency will be directed to develop new screening tools to evaluate state lands and, where appropriate, state agencies can consider exchanging excess state land with local governments for other parcels, for affordable housing development. DGS, in consultation with the HCD, can issue Requests for Proposals on individual parcels and accept proposals from developers of affordable housing interested in entering into low-cost, long-term ground leases of parcels on the priority map.
January 2019: Governor Gavin Newsom released his first proposed budget on January 10, 2019. While we are still analyzing the affordable housing and homelessness proposals, we see both much to be excited about and much to look forward to collaboratively refining with the administration and legislature. For example, we are thrilled the Governor has proposed incentives for affordable housing development, investments in mixed-income housing, revamping the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, linking transportation dollars to housing performance, expanding the State Low Income Housing Tax Credit program to $500 million, and using excess state property for affordable housing development. In addition, he proposed streamlining CEQA for construction of supportive housing and providing ongoing funding for the Housing and Disability Advocacy Program.We will work with our partners to develop a strategy for refining and lifting up our priorities in the governor’s budget.
2019 Sponsored Bills
Held: AB 816 (Quirk-Silva) Flexible Housing Program: Housing California and the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) are pursuing an idea that came out of the homelessness policy summits we hosted around the state in fall 2018. Participants expressed the need for an ongoing flexible source of funding with a streamlined and centralized application process. To satisfy this need, we are proposing a systems change in which the state combine some existing and some new programs to create a Flexible Housing Program administered by HCD. This program would provide rental assistance, operating subsidies, services, systems funding, and interim housing (capped at 20%) to cities, counties, and CoCs.
SB 282 (Beall) Supportive Housing for People on Parole Experiencing Homelessness: In 2018, Housing California sponsored legislation that aimed to reform a program at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) called the Integrated Services for Mentally Ill Parolees Program (ISMIP). SB 1010 (Beall) would have created a new pilot program through the counties to provide supportive housing to people on parole with severe mental illness. By going through the counties, the program could draw on federal resources for mental health treatment to open up existing dollars to be used for housing. This bill was unsuccessful due to strong opposition from the previous administration and CDCR. In 2019, Housing California and CSH are seeking to create a grant program for counties to provide supportive housing for people on parole. The county would commit to providing Medi-Cal mental health treatment. This way, counties would apply and commit to providing housing and services to this population long term, while drawing in federal resources.
SB 361 (Mitchell) Health Home Program Clean-Up: In 2013, Governor Brown signed AB 361 (Mitchell), which authorized the state to take advantage of an Affordable Care Act optional Medi-Cal benefit, now referred to as the Health Home Program (HHP). The intent of AB 361 was to ensure that in California HHP funds services to help Medi-Cal beneficiaries experiencing chronic homelessness to access housing stability. This clean-up legislation would remove language around restricting state funding and also require health plans to implement benefits in ways that would make the program more meaningful.
AB 307 (Reyes) Homeless Youth Grant Program: The group of 2018 sponsors from SB 918 (Housing CA, California Coalition for Youth, John Burton Advocates for Youth, CSH, Tipping Point, and Equality California) are pursuing the original intent of SB 918
by creating a grant program for youth experiencing homelessness. Assemblymember Reyes, the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Human Services, authored AB 307 to create a competitive grant program to address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness. In our budget request, we are including $100 million in ongoing funding for this program. The grant program would be administered by the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council.
2019 Supported Bills
AB 58 (Rivas) Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council: This bill would add a representative from the Department of Education to the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council.
AB 67 (Rivas) Integrated Data Warehouse: This bill would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to create a state homeless integrated data warehouse, in coordination with the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, to develop a composite portrayal of the homeless population in the state and the services provided to this population or to those at risk of becoming homeless.
AB 761 (Nazarian) State Armories for Shelters: This bill would authorize the use of state armories for temporary shelters for people experiencing homelessness.
Held: AB 1405 (Gloria) Permanent Supportive Homes for People on Parole: This bill would require the Department of Corrections, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to enter into contracts with contractors who provide short-term housing to parolees through an adult day reporting center or through the department’s Specialized Treatment for Optimized Programming (STOP) to provide permanent housing for individuals exiting prison who are at risk of homelessness and to parolees experiencing homelessness, in coordination with the Department of Housing and Community Development.
AB 1702 (Rivas): This bill would require the agency to provide 6 additional full-time staff positions for the council, as specified. The bill would require the council to report to the Legislature recommendations for statutory changes to streamline the delivery of services and effectiveness of homelessness programs in the state, by January 1, 2021.
Held: SB 48 (Wiener) Interim Housing Intervention Developments: This bill would allow for by-right development of interim housing.
SB 333 (Wilk) Statewide Strategic Plan to Address Homelessness: This bill would direct the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to develop and implement a statewide plan by July 1, 2021 to address homelessness.
2019 Sponsored Bills
ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry) Affordable Housing and Public Infrastructure Voter Approval: This bill would reduce the local vote threshold for approval of bond and special tax measures to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure or affordable housing from a two-thirds vote to a 55-percent majority. This is the same vote threshold that currently applies to all local school district measures. By making this change, ACA 1 puts housing and infrastructure projects on par with school proposals, so that cities, counties, and special districts have a practical financing tool to address community needs.
Take Action! Click here to watch the press conference in which Housing California and the Residents United Network represented our community, check out "near misses" across the state because of the high voter threshold, and sign the petition to support ACA 1!
SCA 1 (Allen) Repeal Article 34: The California Constitution prohibits the development, construction, or acquisition of an affordable housing development in any manner by any state public body until a majority of the qualified electors of the jurisdiction where the housing development is proposed approve the project by voting in favor at an election. This bill would put a repeal of Article 34 on the statewide ballot in 2020.
SB 329 (Mitchell) Source of Income Discrimination: It often takes several years for an applicant to obtain a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). After waiting all of those years, voucher holders often find that it is impossible to use the voucher because many landlords openly refuse to allow the voucher as a form of rent payment. This bill would prohibit discrimination against voucher holders by adding vouchers to the list of sources of income that cannot be denied.
AB 10 (Chiu) Expanding the California Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program: This bill meets the needs of affordable, supportive, and farmworker housing developers who need additional funding to develop and rehabilitate rental homes for extremely low-, very low-, and low-income Californians, by increasing state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program funding beginning in 2020 by an additional $500 million, of which $25 million, per year, would be allocated to farmworker housing developments. Current law limits the amount of low-income housing tax credits the state can allocate to $94 million annually.
“Housing California commends Assemblymember David Chiu for his proactive push for big, bold solutions early in the 2019 legislative session that address California’s high housing costs. By increasing the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to $500 million – an amount Housing California has pushed for years because of the program’s proven efficacy – we can build and preserve more affordable homes, in more communities. In areas that have been devastated by fires, this is especially important, as we can use this additional funding to help replace and increase affordable rental homes in those communities.” - Lisa Hershey, Executive Director, Housing CA
2019 Supported Bills
AB 1482 (Chiu) Rent Caps: This bill would cap rents at 7% plus inflation for three years, with some exemptions.
AB 1486 (Ting) Public Surplus Land for Affordable Housing: This bill would clarify and improve enforcement of the Surplus Land Act to increase the supply of affordable housing. Critical provisions including expanding the definition of surplus land and local agencies, streamlining the notification process to affordable housing developers, and prioritizing proposals with deepest affordability.
AB 1763 (Chiu) Density Bonus: This bill would provide a density bonus to affordable developers of 80% for 100% affordable developments that meet the criteria outlined in the bill.
SB 5 (Beall) Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program: Similar to Redevelopment, this bill would provide funding for predevelopment, development, acquisition, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable housing; transit-oriented development; and projects promoting strong neighborhoods.
Held: SB 50 (Wiener) Planning and Zoning Incentives: This bill would allow for upzoning certain areas near major transit stops. On March 27, Housing California and more than 50 organizations representing advocacy in affordable housing, homelessness, social justice, environmental justice, and tenant protections sent the author this Letter of Concerns, and look forward to working with the author to address these issues prior to taking a position.
No Place Like Home invests in the development of permanent supportive housing for Californians who are in need of mental health services and are experiencing homelessness, chronic homelessness, or who are at risk of chronic homelessness. The bonds are repaid by funding from the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). Housing California supported the creation of the No Place Like Home Program in 2016, and co-led the state ballot campaign for Proposition 2 that provided the $2 billion bond to fund the program.