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Budget Bill Adds Flexibility to Community Based Transitional Housing Grant Program

Broadens Allowable Uses of Grant Funds Reflecting City Feedback

June 23, 2017
In response to feedback from cities and counties, Gov. Jerry Brown’s Administration is set to expand the allowable uses of grant funds from the Community Based Transitional Housing Program, which provides $25 million in grants for cities or counties that agree to site transitional housing connected with support services for recently released offenders.
The program was established in the 2016 budget, however locals were hesitant to use the program give overly-restrictive regulations.

Section 19 of AB 111 (Committee on Budget) broadens the purpose for which cities and counties may use funds from the Community Based Transitional Housing Program. Notably, the measure allows:
  • Cities and counties to provide a portion of their program funds to the facility operator, if the facility operator agrees to use those funds for facility operations and services to residents. There is no limit on the amount the city and county may provide to the facility operator.
  • Cities and counties may also use program funds for other purposes that their governing boards determine are in furtherance of the program’s goals. 
Cities can obtain additional information about this program from slides from a webinar hosted in March 2017 by the League of California Cities and Department of Finance (DOF), to encourage cities to apply for available grants. Numerous cities provided feedback to the DOF on the barriers to applying for the grant funds. The topmost concern pertained to the ambiguous yet narrow categories of allowable uses for the funds. It became clear that cities need greater flexibility to make the funds “work” towards achieving transitional housing in their communities.
The League appreciates that DOF listened to local concerns and suggestions and added more flexibility for cities in this year’s batch of budget trailer bills. DOF’s Community Based Transitional Housing grant program FAQs are now online. Applications will be accepted on a first come basis over a two-year period that began Oct. 1, 2016. DOF will stop accepting applications when the $25 million appropriation is fully awarded even if that occurs prior to Oct. 1, 2018. The application is available on DOF’s website.

The Governor is expected to sign AB 111 along with the Budget by June 30. Cities are encouraged to explore applying for available funds.

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