Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1405 Permanent supportive housing for parolees.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Evidence shows that “permanent housing,” or housing that does not limit length of stay and provides rights and responsibilities of tenancy, is the only evidence-based intervention that allows individuals experiencing homelessness to exit it.
(2) A disproportionate number of individuals on parole experience homelessness and housing instability. Formerly incarcerated individuals are almost 10 times more likely to experience homelessness than other individuals. At the same time, individuals on parole who are experiencing homelessness are seven times more likely to recidivate than individuals on parole who are living in permanent housing.
(b) It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature to strengthen corrections programs to ensure that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation promotes evidence-based housing and services interventions for individuals on parole who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness. These evidence-based practices would allow individuals to obtain and maintain housing stability during and after the term of parole, thereby reducing recidivism.

SEC. 2.

 Article 3.1 (commencing with Section 3073.5) is added to Chapter 8 of Title 1 of Part 3 of the Penal Code, to read:

Article  3.1. Permanent Supportive Housing for Parolees
3073.5.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “At risk of homelessness” means the individual has a history of homelessness and satisfies either of the following criteria:
(1) The individual has not identified a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence to reside at upon release from prison or upon exit from short-term housing funded by the department.
(2) The individual’s only identified nighttime residence upon release from prison or upon exit from short-term housing funded by the department includes a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, or a publicly or privately owned space that is not designed for, or is not ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for a human being.
(b) “Department” means the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(c) “Homeless” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 91.5 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations. An individual who is being released from prison who was homeless before their incarceration and who does not have an identified residence upon release is also “homeless.”
(d) “Housing First” has the same meaning as set forth in Section 8255 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(e) “Housing navigation” means services provided prior to release from prison or provided in the community that assist individuals with all of the following:
(1) Locating permanent housing with landlords or property managers who are willing to accept rental assistance or operating subsidies.
(2) Obtaining local, state, or federal rental assistance or subsidies.
(3) Completing housing applications for permanent housing and, when applicable, for rental assistance or subsidies.
(4) Obtaining documentation needed to access permanent housing and rental assistance or subsidies.
(f) “Short-term housing” means a temporary residence in the community, including transitional housing, a sober living home, or a motel or hotel, in which a participant in a program that the department currently funds resides for a period not to exceed 12 months.
(g) “Permanent housing” has the same meaning as set forth in subdivision (k) of Section 50490 of the Health and Safety Code, and that is also decent, safe, and affordable.
(h) “Voluntarily” means that participation in the services offered does not affect the individual’s housing, an individual may not be not evicted from short-term or permanent housing based on failure to participate in the services, the service provider engages the individual to want to participate in the services using evidence-based engagement models, and the services offered are flexible and person-centered.
3073.6.
 (a) The department shall 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.
(b) The department shall coordinate with the Department of Housing and Community Development to draft and establish guidelines, requests for proposals, and amended or new scopes of work for contractors offering permanent housing pursuant to this article. The guidelines, requests for proposals, and scopes of work shall incorporate all of the following:
(1) Require contractors or subcontractors to do both of the following:
(A) Provide or subcontract to provide housing navigation services to participants to obtain permanent housing.
(B) Establish relationships with affordable housing providers, supportive housing providers, and local homeless continuums of care in the community in which participants are living.
(2) Flexibility to allow contractors or subcontractors to use existing funds to pay for permanent housing in place of or in addition to short-term housing.
(3) Services and housing offered to a participant under this article shall be offered voluntarily and follow the core components of Housing First.
(c) Contractors shall identify and locate permanent housing opportunities for participants prior to release from prison or as quickly upon release from prison as possible.
(d) Permanent housing identified pursuant to subdivision (a) shall satisfy both of the following:
(1) The housing is permanent, long-term housing, and is located in an apartment building, townhouse, or single-family home, including a rent-subsidized apartment leased in the open market or set aside within privately owned buildings, and in affordable and supportive housing created through local, state, or federal subsidies.
(2) The housing is not subject to community care licensing requirements or is exempt from licensing under Section 1504.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
3073.7.
 (a) The department shall coordinate with the Department of Housing and Community Development to design and implement an independent evaluation of all programs providing short-term or permanent housing to individuals exiting prison who are at risk of homelessness or parolees experiencing homelessness. The evaluation shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following information:
(1) The total number of parolees receiving short-term housing assistance and their housing status 12 and 24 months after program entry, to the extent that data is available, in each program identified.
(2) The total number of parolees receiving housing navigation or permanent housing assistance and their housing status 12 and 24 months after program entry, to the extent that data is available, in each program identified.
(3) Rates of recidivism to prison or jail among parolees at 12 and 24 months after program entry, including the number of arrests and days incarcerated, to the extent that data is available.
(b) The department shall, on or before January 1, 2023, submit the evaluation prepared pursuant to subdivision (a) to the chairs of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, the Assembly Committee on Budget, the Senate and Assembly Committees on Public Safety, the Senate Standing Committee on Housing, and the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development.