Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1845 Homelessness: Office to End Homelessness.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 12095) is added to Part 4 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:

CHAPTER  1.5. Office to End Homelessness
Article  1. Definitions
12095.
 For purposes of this chapter:
(a) “Council” means the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, as described in Section 8257 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(b) “Office” means the Office to End Homelessness.
(c) “Secretary” means the Secretary on Homelessness of the Office to End Homelessness.
Article  2. General Provisions
12095.1.
 (a) The Office to End Homelessness is hereby established in state government within the Governor’s office. The office shall be under the direct control of a secretary, who shall report to the Governor.
(b) The Governor shall appoint the Secretary on Homelessness who shall perform all duties, exercise all powers, assume and discharge all responsibilities, and carry out and effect all purposes vested by law in the office, including contracting for professional or consultant services in connection with the work of the office.
(c) The salary of the Secretary on Homelessness shall be fixed pursuant to Section 12001.
Article  3. Powers and Duties
12095.2.
 (a) The office’s primary purposes are to do all of the following:
(1) Coordinate homelessness programs, services, data, and policies between federal, state, and local agencies.
(2) Coordinate the timing of release of funds and applications for funding for housing and housing-based services impacting Californians experiencing homelessness.
(3) Collaborate with local homeless continuums of care and jurisdictions receiving state funding.
(4) Coordinate with philanthropic organizations with the goal of seeding innovations in moving people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing.
(5) Adopt a model of housing and services the state funds across agencies to serve Californians experiencing homelessness.
(b) State agencies and departments with representatives on the council, or work groups established by the council, shall report to and coordinate with the secretary and the office.
12095.3.
 (a)  The office shall serve the Governor as the lead entity for ending homelessness in California. In this capacity, the office shall:
(1) Fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the council.
(2) Recommend to the Governor and the Legislature new state policies, programs, and actions, or amendments to existing programs.
(3) (A) Convene staff from state agencies and departments represented on the council that provide services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness for the purposes of both:
(i) Following evidence-based models for housing and service programs.
(ii) Aligning requests for proposals, notices of funding availability, grant agreements, or contracts that state agencies and departments shall use in administering programs offering housing or housing-based services.
(B) The office may convene a funder’s workgroup to accomplish the activities of this paragraph that includes staff of the council and staff working for agencies or departments represented on the council. The funder’s workgroup may also include philanthropic organizations focused on ending homelessness, reducing health disparities, ending domestic violence, or ensuring Californians do not exit incarceration to homelessness.
(4) If adequate funding exists to undertake, establish a process for agencies and departments to collectively identify and assist individuals exiting state-funded institutions, including, but not limited to, people leaving prisons, state-funded hospitals or nursing homes, and foster care, who are at risk of homelessness, along with procedures or programs for state agencies and departments to implement to prevent discharges into homelessness.
(5) Collaborate with existing state agency staff to develop a universal application for developers, service providers, and other entities to apply to agencies and departments represented on the council for funding for homeless services and housing.
(6) Examine and promote racially and gender equitable policies for departments and agencies that provide housing and services to individuals experiencing homelessness.
(b) The office, as appropriate, shall coordinate with staff in the Governor’s office to solicit monetary donations or in-kind donations from businesses, nonprofit organizations, or individuals for the purpose of encouraging innovation in ending homelessness and augmenting funding for evidence-based housing and services.
(c) The office shall coordinate relevant state agencies and departments to reduce the risk of long-term homelessness by developing specific protocol and procedures that accomplish the following:
(1) Ensure that domestic violence survivors experiencing homelessness have access to safe and appropriate housing navigation and rental assistance programs specifically designed to meet their needs.
(2) Assist individuals reentering communities from jails and prisons with housing navigation and obtaining permanent housing.
(3) Connect older adults to programs and services that assist independent living, including the assisted living waiver program described in Section 14132.26 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, in-home supportive services described in Article 7 (commencing with Section 12300) of Chapter 3 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) services described in Chapter 8.75 (commencing with Section 14590) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and other wraparound and personal care services.
(4) Provide high-cost and high-acuity health users, such as individuals who could be discharged from nursing homes and hospitals, with housing and services to avoid homelessness.
12095.4.
 (a) The office shall be comprised of those employees serving in state civil service transferred pursuant to Section 8257.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and shall oversee and carry out the council’s activities and existing mandates.
(b) The current position of Deputy Secretary on Homelessness within the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency shall be eliminated once the Governor appoints a Secretary on Homelessness.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8256 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

8256.
 (a) Agencies and departments administering state programs created on or after July 1, 2017, shall collaborate with the coordinating council to adopt guidelines and regulations to incorporate core components of Housing First.
(b) By July 1, 2019, except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), agencies and departments administering state programs in existence prior to July 1, 2017, shall collaborate with the coordinating council to revise or adopt guidelines and regulations that incorporate the core components of Housing First, if the existing guidelines and regulations do not already incorporate the core components of Housing First.
(c) (1) An agency or department that administers programs that fund recovery housing shall comply with the requirements of subdivision (b) by July 1, 2022.
(2)  Until July 1, 2022, an  An  agency or department that administers programs that fund recovery housing shall additionally do all both  of the following:
(A) In coordination with the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, consult with the Legislature, the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other stakeholders between July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2022, to identify ways to improve the provision of housing to individuals who receive funding from that agency or department, consistent with the applicable requirements of state law.
(B) Comply with the core components of Housing First, other than those components described in paragraphs (5) to (7), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 8255.
(C) (B)  Ensure that recovery housing programs meet the following requirements:
(i) A recovery housing program participant shall sign an agreement upon entry that outlines the roles and responsibilities of both the participant and the program administrator to ensure individuals are aware of actions that could result in removal from the recovery housing program.
(ii) If a recovery housing program participant chooses to stop living in a housing setting with an abstinence focus, is discharged from the program, or is evicted from housing, the program administrator shall offer assistance in accessing other housing and services options, including options operated with harm-reduction principles. To the extent practicable, this assistance shall include connecting the individual with alternative housing providers, supportive services, and the local coordinated entry system, if applicable. This clause does not apply to an individual who leaves the program without notifying the program administrator.
(iii) The recovery housing program administrator shall track and report annually to the program’s state funding source the housing outcome for each program participant who is discharged.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, “recovery housing” means sober living facilities and programs that provide housing in an abstinence-focused and peer-supported community for people recovering from substance use issues. Participation is voluntary, unless that participation is pursuant to a court order or is a condition of release for individuals under the jurisdiction of a county probation department or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(4) A recovery housing program shall comply with the core components of Housing First, other than those components described in paragraphs (5) through (7), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 8255.
(d) In order to fulfill the purposes of this chapter, an agency or department that administers one or more state programs, including, but not limited to, an agency or department represented on the coordinating council pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 8257, shall, upon the request of the coordinating council, furnish to the coordinating council any relevant information regarding those state programs.

SEC. 2.5.

 Section 8256 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

8256.
 (a) Agencies and departments administering state programs created on or after July 1, 2017, shall collaborate with the coordinating council to adopt guidelines and regulations to incorporate core components of Housing First.
(b) By July 1, 2019, except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), agencies and departments administering state programs in existence prior to July 1, 2017, shall collaborate with the coordinating council to revise or adopt guidelines and regulations that incorporate the core components of Housing First, if the existing guidelines and regulations do not already incorporate the core components of Housing First.
(c) (1) An agency or department that administers programs that fund recovery housing shall comply with the requirements of subdivision (b) by July 1, 2022.
(2) Until July 1, 2022, an agency  or department that administers programs that fund recovery housing shall additionally do all of the following:
(A) In coordination with the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, consult with the Legislature, the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other stakeholders between July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2022, to identify ways to improve the provision of housing to individuals who receive funding from that agency or department, consistent with the applicable requirements of state law.
(B)  Comply with the core components of Housing First, other than those components described in paragraphs (5) to (7), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 8255.  
(C) Ensure that recovery housing programs meet the following requirements:
(i) A recovery housing program participant shall sign an agreement upon entry that outlines the roles and responsibilities of both the participant and the program administrator to ensure individuals are aware of actions that could result in removal from the recovery housing program.
(ii) If a recovery housing program participant chooses to stop living in a housing setting with an abstinence focus, is discharged from the program, or is evicted from housing, the program administrator shall offer assistance in accessing other housing and services options, including options operated with harm-reduction principles. To the extent practicable, this assistance shall include connecting the individual with alternative housing providers, supportive services, and the local coordinated entry system, if applicable. This clause does not apply to an individual who leaves the program without notifying the program administrator.
(iii) The recovery housing program administrator shall track and report annually to the program’s state funding source the housing outcome for each program participant who is discharged.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, “recovery housing” means sober living facilities and programs that provide housing in an abstinence-focused and peer-supported community for people recovering from substance use issues. Participation is voluntary, unless that participation is pursuant to a court order or is a condition of release for individuals under the jurisdiction of a county probation department or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(d)   In order to fulfill the purposes of this chapter, an agency or department that administers one or more state programs, including, but not limited to, an agency or department represented on the coordinating council pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 8257, shall, upon the request of the coordinating council, furnish to the coordinating council any relevant information regarding those state programs.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8257 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

8257.
 (a) The Governor shall create a Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council. Council, which shall be under the supervision of the Secretary on Homelessness of the Office to End Homelessness. 
(b) The council shall have all of the following goals:
(1) To oversee implementation of this chapter.
(2) To identify mainstream resources, benefits, and services that can be accessed to prevent and end homelessness in California.
(3) To create partnerships among state agencies and departments, local government agencies, participants in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care Program, federal agencies, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, nonprofit entities working to end homelessness, homeless services providers, and the private sector, for the purpose of arriving at specific strategies to end homelessness.
(4) To promote systems integration to increase efficiency and effectiveness while focusing on designing systems to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness, including unaccompanied youth under 25 years of age.
(5) To coordinate existing funding and applications for competitive funding. Any action taken pursuant to this paragraph shall not restructure or change any existing allocations or allocation formulas.
(6) To make policy and procedural recommendations to legislators and other governmental entities.
(7) To identify and seek funding opportunities for state entities that have programs to end homelessness, including, but not limited to, federal and philanthropic funding opportunities, and to facilitate and coordinate those state entities’ efforts to obtain that funding.
(8) To broker agreements between state agencies and departments and between state agencies and departments and local jurisdictions to align and coordinate resources, reduce administrative burdens of accessing existing resources, and foster common applications for services, operating, and capital funding.
(9) To serve as a statewide facilitator, coordinator, and policy development resource on ending homelessness in California.
(10) To report to the Governor, federal Cabinet members, and the Legislature on homelessness and work to reduce homelessness.
(11) To ensure accountability and results in meeting the strategies and goals of the council.
(12) To identify and implement strategies to fight homelessness in small communities and rural areas.
(13) To create a statewide data system or warehouse  warehouse, which shall be known as the Homeless Data Integration System,  that collects local data through Homeless Management Information Systems, with the ultimate goal of matching data on homelessness to programs impacting homeless recipients of state programs, such as Medi-Cal (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part 3 of Division 9) and CalWORKs (Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9). Upon creation of the Homeless Data Integration System, all Continuums of Care, as defined in Part 578.3 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which are currently operating in California, shall provide collected data elements, including, but not limited to, health information, in a manner consistent with federal law, to the Homeless Management Information System. 
(A) Council staff shall specify the form and substance of the required data elements.
(B) Council staff may, as required by operational necessity, amend or modify data elements, disclosure formats, or disclosure frequency.
(C) Any health information or personal identifying information provided to, or maintained within, the Homeless Data Integration System shall not be subject to public inspection or disclosure under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).
(D) For purposes of this paragraph, “health information” includes “protected health information,” as defined in Part 160.103 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and “medical information,” as defined in subdivision (j) of Section 56.05 of the Civil Code.
(14) Setting  To set  goals to prevent and end homelessness among California’s youth.
(15) Working to  To  improve the safety, health, and welfare of young people experiencing homelessness in the state.
(16) Increasing  To increase  system integration and coordinating efforts to prevent homelessness among youth who are currently or formerly involved in the child welfare system or the juvenile justice system.
(17) Leading  To lead  efforts to coordinate a spectrum of funding, policy, and practice efforts related to young people experiencing homelessness.
(18) Identifying  To identify  best practices to ensure homeless minors who may have experienced maltreatment, as described in Section 300, are appropriately referred to, or have the ability to self-refer to, the child welfare system.
(19) To develop and implement a statewide strategic plan on homelessness that shall establish measurable objectives and strategies to enhance state-level accountability and practices.
(c) (1) The Governor shall appoint up to 19 members of the council as follows: council shall consist of the following members: 
(A) The Secretary of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing, on Homelessness of the Office to End Homelessness,  or the secretary’s designee, who shall serve as chair of the council.
(B) A representative from the Department  The Director  of Transportation.
(C) A representative from the Department  The Director  of Housing and Community Development.
(D) A representative of the State Department of  The Director of  Social Services.
(E) A representative The Director  of the California Housing Finance Agency.
(F) A representative of the State Department of  The Director of  Health Care Services.
(G) A representative of the Department of  The Secretary of  Veterans Affairs.
(H) A representative The Secretary  of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(I) A representative from  The executive Director of  the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee in the Treasurer’s office.
(J) The Director of Public Health.
(J) (K)  A representative of the Victim Services Program within the Division of Grants Management within the Office of Emergency Services, who shall be appointed by the Director of the Office of Emergency  Services.
(K) (L)  A representative from the State Department of Education. Education, who shall be appointed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction. 
(L) (M)  A representative of the state public higher education system who shall be from one of the following:
(i) The California Community Colleges.
(ii) The University of California.
(iii) The California State University.
(2) The council shall regularly seek guidance from and meet with an advisory committee that shall include the following:
(M) (A)  A formerly homeless person who lives in California.
(N) (B)  A formerly homeless youth who lives in California.
(O) (C)  Two representatives of local agencies or organizations that participate in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care Program.
(P) (D)  State advocates or other members of the public or state agencies, at the Governor’s discretion.
(2) (E)  The Senate Committee on Rules and the Speaker of the Assembly shall each appoint one member to the council from two different stakeholder organizations. One member to the council from two different stakeholder organizations, one appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules and the other appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. 
(3) The council may, at its discretion, invite stakeholders, individuals who have experienced homelessness, members of philanthropic communities, and experts to participate in meetings or provide information to the council.
(d) The council shall hold public meetings at least once every quarter.
(e) The members of the council shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.
(f) Within existing funding, the council may establish working groups, task forces, or other structures from within its membership or with outside members to assist it in its work. Working groups, task forces, or other structures established by the council shall determine their own meeting schedules.
(1) The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) shall not apply to a meeting of a working group, task force, or other structure within the membership if only a minority of members of the council participate in that working group, task force, or other structure.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (1), the council is subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act and all meetings of the council are subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act.
(g) The members of the council shall serve without compensation, except that members of the council who are, or have been, homeless may receive reimbursement for travel, per diem, or other expenses.
(h) The Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency  Office to End Homelessness  shall provide staff for the council.
(i) The members of the council may enter into memoranda of understanding with other members of the council to achieve the goals set forth in this chapter, as necessary, in order to facilitate communication and cooperation between the entities the members of the council represent.
(j) There shall be an executive director of the council under the direction of the Secretary of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing. Office to End Homelessness. 
(k) The council shall be under the direction of the executive director and staffed by employees of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. Office to End Homelessness. 

SEC. 4.

 Section 8257.5 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

8257.5.
 (a) The Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council is hereby placed under the jurisdiction of the Office to End Homelessness. The Office to End Homelessness is hereby successor to, and is vested with, all the duties, powers, and responsibilities of the office of the Governor under this chapter with respect to the coordinating council, except as provided in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 8257.
(b) (1) All employees serving in state civil service, including temporary employees, who are engaged in the performance of functions for the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council are transferred to the Office to End Homelessness. The status, positions, and rights of those persons shall not be affected by their transfer and shall continue to be retained by them pursuant to the State Civil Service Act (Part 2 (commencing with Section 18570) of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code), except as to positions the duties of which are vested in a position exempt from civil service. The personnel records of all transferred employees shall be transferred to the Office to End Homelessness.
(2) The person serving as executive director of the coordinating council under the supervision of the Secretary of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing as of the effective date of this section shall continue to serve as executive director until the Secretary on Homelessness of the Office to End Homelessness designates a successor.
(c) The Office to End Homelessness shall succeed to all of the rights and property of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency used in connection with the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council. The property of any office, agency, or other entity of state government related to functions transferred to the Office to End Homelessness is transferred to the Office to End Homelessness. If any doubt arises as to where that property is transferred, the Department of General Services shall determine where the property is transferred.
(d) All unexpended balances of appropriations and other funds available for use in connection with any function or the administration of any law transferred to the Office to End Homelessness shall be transferred to the Office to End Homelessness for the use and for the purpose for which the appropriation was originally made or the funds were originally available. If there is any doubt as to where those balances and funds are transferred, the Department of Finance shall determine where the balances and funds are transferred.
(e) The Office to End Homelessness is subject to all the debts and liabilities of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency with respect to overseeing and supporting the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council pursuant to this chapter.
SEC. 5.
 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 3 of this act, which amends Section 8257 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
The limitations on the people’s right of access set forth in this act are necessary to protect private health and personal identifying information from disclosure and to allow for the free flow of information and ideas during conversations occurring in meetings of a minority number of members of the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council.
SEC. 6.
 Section 2.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 8256 of the Welfare and Institutions Code proposed by this bill and Senate Bill 815. That section shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2021, (2) each bill amends Section 8256 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Senate Bill 815, in which case Section 8256 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as amended by Senate Bill 815, shall remain operative only until the operative date of this bill, at which time Section 2.5 of this bill shall become operative, and Section 2 of this bill shall not become operative.