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SB-695 Land use planning: housing element: foster youth placement.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/10/2019 09:00 PM
SB695:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 10, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 695


Introduced by Senator Portantino

February 22, 2019


An act to add Section Sections 65584.8 and 65584.9 of to the Government Code, relating to land use planning.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 695, as amended, Portantino. Land use planning: housing element: foster youth placement.
The Planning and Zoning Law requires a city or county to adopt a general plan for its jurisdiction that contains certain mandatory elements, including a housing element. That law requires that the housing element include, among other things, an inventory of land suitable for residential development, sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need determined pursuant to specified law.
The Planning and Zoning Law requires each local government to revise its housing element in accordance with a specified schedule. The Department of Housing and Community Development, in consultation with each council of governments, is required to determine each region’s existing and projected housing need at least 2 years prior to a scheduled revision. The appropriate council of governments, or for cities and counties without a council of governments, the department, is required to adopt a final regional housing need plan that allocates a share of the regional housing need to each city, county, or city and county at least one year prior to a scheduled revision.
This bill would authorize a city that has a housing element that has been approved by the department, as specified, to meet 10% 5% of its share of the regional housing need by adopting of a program that meets certain, listed requirements, including that the program actively promote and assist in the placement of foster youth in existing family-based households, as specified, and be approved by the council of governments that assigns the city’s share of regional housing needs or, in the absence of a council, by the department. For the 2nd and any subsequent planning period after the specified program has been adopted, the department or the council of governments, as applicable, would be prohibited from approving the program for these purposes, if the program was not responsible for meeting 2.5% or more of the city’s share of the regional housing need for the previous planning period. The bill would require the department or the council of governments, as applicable, to limit program approvals to the first 5 programs per region that apply and qualify for approval. The bill would require each city that has adopted a program to submit to the department or the council of governments, as applicable, 2 progress reports per planning period, on dates established by the department or the council of governments. The bill would require each report to include the number of foster youth placements within the last year, as verified by the county’s program that manages foster youth placements.
The bill would also authorize a city, for purposes of meeting its share of the regional housing need, to deem a unit of housing as a very low income household if occupants of the unit are participating in a home-sharing agreement and at least one occupant of the unit is an elderly or disabled person of low or moderate income, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and hereby declares all of the following:
(a) In 2015, 62,035 children and youth in California were living in foster care.
(b) Without the adequate number of foster parents and homes, more abused and neglected children will be placed into group homes and homes operated by foster family agencies, at a substantially higher cost to the state and counties.
(c) Under the current system, the outcomes for youth who turn 18 years of age in foster care are often grim. Many leave the system without family support, at high risk of becoming victims of crime, becoming involved with the judicial system, homelessness, and unemployment. Many fail to complete high school and do not pursue higher education or vocational training.
(d) Foster youth who exit the system with permanent links to caring adults or families have a better chance for successful outcomes. When youth grow up in a family, that family is the major vehicle preparing them for the adult world. The values, skills, challenges, and opportunities that shape and define adulthood are woven into the fabric of their everyday lives. Through these lifelong connections, they discover what it means to learn, love, and live.
(e) To attain the goal of permanency, the state must be engaged in creating incentives that identify responsible adults and families willing to take on this task. New communities need to be tapped to improve outcomes for foster youth exiting the system. All government entities should have an opportunity to participate in this goal through state incentives.
(f) Cities are not directly involved in finding quality, family-based households for foster youth, but the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) process creates many challenges in meeting the state’s requirement to plan for future population growth. Especially difficult to plan are low- and very low income housing. Most cities are not actually required to zone for affordable housing. Instead, most zone at certain densities and presume these densities will allow affordable housing to be built. Since the housing element does not address the final outcome, setting the density does not guarantee affordability. In fact, property owners may ultimately decide to build luxury condominiums too expensive for low-income people.
(g) While most cities plan and meet their RHNA requirement to zone for affordable housing, the market decides when they are built. When they are built, critics wonder whether they truly accommodate low-income Californians and whether having an approved housing element actually made the difference.
(h) Since the RHNA process does not plan for the fluctuating population of foster youth in need of immediate and future housing, flexibility is needed to both plan and fulfill the state’s responsibility to find quality foster parents. Zoning for future housing that may never be built pales in comparison to the immediate and ongoing needs of foster care youth seeking quality family-based environments and permanency.
(i) In enacting this act, it is not the intent of the Legislature that cities avoid zoning for future populations. The purpose of this act is to give cities experiencing difficulty another tool to meet their RHNA requirement and involve them in the task of identifying family-based environments for foster youth.

SEC. 2.

 Section 65584.8 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65584.8.
 For purposes of meeting its share of regional housing needs allocation pursuant to Section 65584, and notwithstanding any requirement for household income level for very low income households adopted pursuant subdivision (f) of Section 65584, a city may deem a unit of housing as a very low income household if the unit meets both of the following:
(a) Occupants of the unit are participating in a home-sharing arrangement.
(b) At least one occupant of the unit is an elderly or disabled person of low or moderate income, as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.

SEC. 2.SEC. 3.

 Section 65584.9 is added to the Government Code, to read:

65584.9.
 (a) A city may meet 10 5 percent of its share of the regional housing need allocation pursuant to Section 65584, by adopting 65584 if the city has a housing element in the current cycle that has been deemed compliant by the department, and has adopted a program that meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Actively promotes placement of foster youth in existing family-based households through advertisement and city-based incentives.
(2) Provides a process for coordinating city and county assistance to help interested persons by providing information and documents necessary to meet the responsibility of caring for foster youth.
(3) Serves as a resource to assist interested persons in accessing existing services that support the placement of foster youth in existing family-based households.
(4) Provides a plan to measure the success of the program, in coordination with the county’s current system of data outcomes.
(5) Is approved by the council of governments that assigns the city’s share of regional housing needs or by the Department of Housing and Community Development, department, if there is no council of governments.
(6) (A) Results in the placement of foster youth in family-based households.
(B) It is the intent of the Legislature that each foster youth placement be considered a one-for-one regional housing needs allocation credit.
(b) For the second and any subsequent planning period after the program described in subdivision (a) has been adopted, the Department of Housing and Community Development department or the council of governments, as applicable, shall not approve the program for the purposes of paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) if the program was not responsible for meeting 2.5 percent or more of the city’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584, for the previous planning period.
(c) The Department of Housing and Community Development department or the council of governments, as applicable, shall limit approvals under paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) to the first five programs per region that apply and qualify for approval.
(d) (1) Each city that has adopted a program under this section shall submit to the Department of Housing and Community Development department or the council of governments, as applicable, two progress reports per planning period, on dates established by the department or the council of governments.
(2) Each report shall include, at a minimum, the number of foster youth placements within the last year, as verified by the county’s program that manages foster youth placements.