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Application Period Opening Oct. 1 for Community-Based Transitional-Housing Grants

Plan Now Since Applications Will Be Awarded on a First-Come Basis

August 24, 2016
Cities interested in obtaining grants as an incentive to help house and provide transitional services to recently released offenders returning to their communities should prepare now to apply for a new Department of Finance (DOF) program that will offer cash grants to communities willing to site additional facilities.
Ideally these facilities help reduce recidivism and improve public safety by enabling law enforcement to better monitor such individuals who may already be in the community. Applications will be opening Oct. 1 and will continue until funds are exhausted.  
Cities and counties will be eligible for grants under the new Community-Based Transitional-Housing Program. Established by SB 837, a budget trailer bill approved in June, the program provides $25 million in grants for cities or counties that agree to site transitional housing connected with support services for recently released offenders. Individual grants can be up to $2 million, depending on the size of the facility, and priorities will be provided for applications with local matching contributions.
Key features include:
  • The applying city or county must agree to issue a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a facility providing transitional housing and supportive services for ex-offenders released from county jail or state prison. While the measure is primarily directed at ex-offenders there is some additional flexibility on the types of individuals housed. The CUP must be for at least 10 years.
  • An experienced facility operator must be identified.
  • As part of application process, the local agency must include a list of “all permitted facilities … that in a residential setting, provide transitional housing services, psychological counseling, or cognitive behavioral therapy.” This list must include the number of residents residing in each facility in their jurisdiction, including those on probation or parole. Presumably, state agencies must provide a local agency the information necessary to assemble this information.
  • Sixty percent of the grant may be retained by the approving jurisdiction, and can be used for public safety enhancements, community outreach efforts, or any other community-based activities that the local agency believes will improve community relations or concerns with the facility.
  • Forty percent of the funding must be shared by the local agency with nonprofit facility operators to support start-up costs, service provision, security improvements, rehabilitative services and community outreach.
  • Participating local agencies and facility operators must submit annual reports, as specified. 
Next Steps
Given the first-come first-served basis for applying for these funds, the League wanted to alert cities to this coming opportunity. DOF is expected to release this application soon and grant information will be available on its website www.dof.ca.gov by Sept. 1. The League will alert cities through CA Cities Advocate once the application and additional information is available.

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