Governor Brown signed AB 1628 on Sept. 13 to help implement the bond financing of the proposal, contained in AB 1618 approved as part of the budget, that provides $2 billion in funding to help mentally ill homeless men, women and children secure needed housing and services.
The estimated 10,000 units created by the measure will help many individuals get off the streets. Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) put forward the proposal earlier in 2016, which was then became part of the FY 2016-17 budget. The No Place Like Home program marks the state’s first effort to reinvest dollars into housing for the homeless in recent history.
Cities are struggling to identify resources and need flexible funding to implement best practices and innovative solutions that meet the needs of the homeless people in their communities. There are about 116,000 homeless people in California, accounting for 21 percent of the nation’s homeless population, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The state saw the second-largest increase in homelessness between 2014 and 2015. Resources to assist California’s cities and counties house the homeless have been reduced by cuts in federal and state funding for affordable housing, the loss of local redevelopment agencies and other key programs.
League President and Rancho Cucamonga Mayor L. Dennis Michael commended the leadership that led to the creation of this new housing program: “We appreciate that Senate President pro Tem de León put forward this innovative solution that received bipartisan support and the Governor’s signature. This is a step in the right direction and offers the flexibility and funding we at the local level need to effectively work with our local agency colleagues and the nonprofit community to help those who so desperately need shelter. California cities are at the forefront of this crisis, so these resources will be very helpful,” said Michael. “The League was a strong supporter of this proposal since February and we are glad to see it come together.”
AB 1628, which the Governor signed this week, outlines the bond financing and mechanics of how it will be taken from Proposition 63 revenues. This measure facilitates and authorizes the California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA) to issue bonds for the purposes of establishing a loan program for counties to develop and administer permanent supported housing for homeless. It also establishes a framework for the provision of housing through authorized service contract, address loans to be made by CHFFA for supportive housing, specifies the use for funds for projects across the state, and provides administrative structure for the program. AB 1628 provides for direct funding from this program for the few cities that currently provide mental health services and are already eligible for Prop. 63 funding.
The League has prepared an analysis of the No Place Like Home
program to provide cities with details on the funding and what will be available.