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AB-816 California Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool Program.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/20/2019 09:00 PM
AB816:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 816


Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk-Silva
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Arambula, Carrillo, Gloria, Grayson, and Ramos)
(Coauthors: Senators Beall, Galgiani, and Wiener)

February 20, 2019


An act to add Chapter 2.9 (commencing with Section 50491) to Part 2 of Division 31 of the Health and Safety Code, and to add Section 8258 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to housing, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 816, as introduced, Quirk-Silva. California Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool Program.
Existing law establishes various programs, including, among others, the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program, to provide assistance to homeless persons. Existing law also establishes the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to, among other things, create a statewide data system or warehouse that collects local data through homeless management information systems, with the ultimate goal of matching data on homelessness programs to programs impacting homeless recipients of state programs, as specified.
This bill would establish the California Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool Program within the Department of Housing and Community Development for the purpose of making grants available to applicants, defined to include a city, county, city and county, or continuum of care, for eligible activities including, among other things, rental assistance, operating subsidies in new and existing affordable or supportive housing units, and specified outreach services. The bill would continuously appropriate $450,000,000 from the General Fund every fiscal year to the department for purposes of the program, and set forth how these funds must be allocated. The bill would require the department to, on or before January 1, 2023, and every year thereafter, evaluate the outcomes of the program and report the outcomes to the Senate Committee on Housing and the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development.
The bill would also require the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to work with the department to create a California Funder’s Collaborative that would, among other things, establish a process for incorporating private contributions into state programs to create local innovations, establish pilot programs, or evaluate programs.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) In 2018, 129,972 Californians experienced homelessness at any point in time in California, representing 30 percent of single adults experiencing homelessness nationwide, and 49 percent of unsheltered individuals nationwide.
(b) In 2018, the California Legislature funded over 18 different programs specifically targeting people experiencing homelessness at 6 different state departments. Each department has different missions, cultures, and knowledge of housing-related or homeless issues.
(c) Homelessness is a statewide problem that requires a statewide multipronged approach to allow people to exit streets and shelters and access permanent housing. The Legislature promoted better coordination between state agencies and departments in creating the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council in 2016.
(d) Promoting regional collaboration and consolidating funding into a single, flexible funding source would move California toward ensuring that any Californian’s experience with homelessness is rare, brief, and one time.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 2.9 (commencing with Section 50491) is added to Part 2 of Division 31 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
CHAPTER  2.9. California Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool Program

50491.
 For purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Applicant” means a city, county, city and county, or continuum of care that has applied to receive funds under the program.
(b) “Chronic homelessness” has the same meaning as in Part 91 and Part 578 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as those parts read on January 1, 2019, except that people who were chronically homeless before entering an institution continue to be chronically homeless upon discharge, regardless of length of institutional stay.
(c) “Continuum of care” has the same meaning as defined in Section 578.3 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(d) “Coordinated entry system” or “CES” means a centralized or coordinated assessment system developed pursuant to Section 576.400(d) or 578.7(a)(8), as applicable, of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and related requirements, designed to coordinate program participant intake, assessment, and referrals. In order to satisfy this subdivision, recipients of funding shall use a centralized or coordinated assessment system to refer eligible participants to housing funded under the program created in this section. A coordinated assessment system shall cover the entire geographic area, be easily accessed by individuals and families seeking housing or services, be well advertised, and include a comprehensive and standardized assessment tool.
(e) “Department” means the Department of Housing and Community Development.
(f) “Fair market rent” means the rent, including the cost of utilities, as established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to Part 888 and Part 982 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as those parts read on January 1, 2019, for units by number of bedrooms, that must be paid in the market area to rent privately owned, existing, decent, safe, and sanitary rental housing of nonluxury nature with suitable amenities.
(g) “HMIS” means a Homeless Management Information System, as defined in Section 578.3 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The term “HMIS” also includes the use of a comparable database by a victim services provider or legal services provider that is permitted by HUD under Part 576 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(h) “Homeless” or “homelessness” has the same meaning as “homeless” defined in Section 578.3 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(i) “HUD” means the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
(j) “Interim interventions” means housing that does not qualify as permanent housing as defined under subdivision (k), including, but not limited to, emergency shelters or navigation centers as defined under other federal, state, or local programs. All programs providing interim housing funded pursuant to this chapter shall have partnerships or other linkages to homeless services to connect homeless individuals and families to income, public benefits, health services, and permanent housing.
(k) “Permanent housing” means a structure or set of structures with subsidized or unsubsidized rental housing units subject to applicable landlord-tenant law, with no limit on length of stay, and no requirement to participate in supportive services as a condition of access to or continued occupancy in the housing. “Permanent housing” includes permanent supportive housing.
(l) “Permanent supportive housing” means permanent housing with no limit on the length of stay that is occupied by the target population and that is linked to onsite or offsite services that assist the supportive housing residents in retaining the housing, improving resident’s health status, and maximizing resident’s ability to live and, when possible, work in the community. “Permanent supportive housing” includes associated facilities if used to provide services to housing residents.
(m) “Program” means the California Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool Program established pursuant to this chapter.
(n) “Recipient” means a city, county, city and county, or continuum of care that receives funds under the program.
(o) “Rental assistance” means a rental subsidy provided to a housing provider, including a developer leasing affordable or supportive housing, to assist a tenant to pay the difference between 30 percent of the tenant’s income and fair market rent or reasonable market rent as determined by the grant recipient and approved by the department.
(p) “Subrecipient” means a unit of local government or a private nonprofit or for-profit organization that the recipient determines is qualified to undertake the eligible activities for which the recipient seeks funds under the program, and that enters into a contract with the recipient to undertake those eligible activities in accordance with the requirements of the program.
(q) “Target population” means people experiencing homelessness, as defined in this section, and people who have experienced homelessness and are exiting rapid rehousing, transitional housing, or other programs providing short- to medium-term rental assistance and who are or would become homeless without longer-term assistance.

50491.1.
 (a) The California Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool Program is hereby created. The program shall be administered by the department.
(b) On or before January 1, 2021, the department shall do all of the following:
(1) Work with the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to develop new and incorporate existing programs funding housing or housing-based services for the target population into the program.
(2) Develop guidelines and scoring criteria.
(3) Issue at least two notices of funding availability each year to make available funding to eligible applicants for the uses identified in Section 50491.3.

50491.2.
 (a) The department shall make grants available to applicants through a competitive process that includes scoring based upon, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) The extent to which the applicant shows progress in developing housing or shelters, including, if a city, county, or city and county is an applicant, permitting supportive housing or constructing shelters or navigation centers.
(2) The need of the applicant, which includes consideration of the number of individuals experiencing homelessness and the impact of housing costs in the jurisdiction.
(3) The extent of coordination and collaboration between the applicant, other jurisdictions in the region, and the continuum of care covering the geographic area.
(4) The ability of the applicant or proposed subrecipient or subrecipient to administer or partner to administer the type of funding the applicant is seeking, based on the applicant’s proposed use of program funds.
(5) The applicant’s documented partnerships with affordable and supportive housing providers in the jurisdiction.
(6) Demonstrated commitment to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness through existing programs or programs planned to be implemented within 12 months.
(7) The proposed use of funds, the extent to which those uses are evidence-based, and the extent to which the proposed use will lead to overall reductions in homelessness.
(b) Applicants shall compete with other applicants of similar population sizes and characteristics, such as urban centers, rural communities, and small counties.
(c) An application shall meet the following requirements:
(1) The application shall demonstrate regional coordination between cities, counties, and continuums of care, and report all funds currently being used to provide housing and services to the homeless population in the applicant’s region, including, but not limited to, Mental Health Services Act (Part 4 (commencing with Section 5850) of Division 5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code) funds, mental health realignment funds, and dedicated city and county funds.
(2) The applicant shall identify and commit to match 25 percent of the grant amount, and shall ensure the sustainability of funding for at least 15 years.
(A) A continuum of care applicant may use in-kind services as a match.
(B) A city, county, or city and county applicant may use up to one-half of the city’s, county’s, or city and county’s allocations from the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund established by Section 50470. To meet the requirements of this subparagraph, a city, county, or city and county applicant shall do either of the following:
(i) Commit to use nonhousing system resources to satisfy this subparagraph.
(ii) Create a local flexible housing subsidy pool that, to the extent funds may be used for these purposes, combines funding from health, criminal justice, child welfare, or emergency response systems to fund the same eligible uses as identified in this section.
(C) A city, county, or city and county applicant shall not use funds to supplant existing funds dedicated for the same purpose.
(D) Should a city, county, or city and county recipient fail to comply with this section, the department may require any funds provided to the city, county, or city and county to be returned to the department.
(3) The application shall include a commitment to ensuring all grants follow the core components of Housing First, as set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 8255 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, including referrals to coordinated entry systems.
(4) The application shall describe or provide documentation of the local program or project selection process anticipated to be used to allocate available funds to subrecipients qualified to carry out the eligible activities. To satisfy the requirements of this paragraph, the applicant’s proposed program or project selection process shall avoid conflicts of interest in program or project selection and shall be easily accessible to the public.
(5) The application shall identify anticipated estimated amounts to be used for the specific eligible activities described in the application and numerical goals and performance measures established by the applicant, in collaboration with the relevant continuum of care, to be used to evaluate success in implementing eligible activities described in the application for the anticipated term of the agreement with the department entered into pursuant to the program. At a minimum, applicants shall evaluate the following project or system performance measures on an annual basis, based on HMIS data from the continuum of care service area or other data, as set forth in the department’s notice of funding availability:
(A) The number of persons served.
(B) The number of unsheltered persons served, and the average length of time spent homeless before entry into the program.
(C) The number of persons served currently living in permanent housing.
(D) The number of exits from the program, and the reasons for those exits, including returns to homelessness.
(E) The process for referrals to housing.

50491.3.
 (a) An applicant shall use program funds to serve the target population through one or more of the following eligible activities:
(1) Rental assistance in an amount the applicant identifies, but no more than two times the fair market rent for the community in which the applicant is providing rental assistance.
(2) Operating subsidies in new and existing affordable or supportive housing units, in an amount the applicant identifies, but no more than fair market rent for the community in which the project is located. Operating subsidies may include operating reserves.
(3) Incentives to landlords, including, but not limited to, security deposits and holding fees.
(4) Services to assist the target population in accessing permanent housing and to promote housing stability in supportive housing.
(5) Systems support for activities necessary to create regional partnerships, maintain a homeless services and housing delivery system, including CES, HMIS, or planning activities, as well as staff tasked with identifying and connecting people experiencing homelessness to CES within health care, child welfare, criminal justice, or other systems.
(6) Operating support for interim interventions, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) Navigation centers that provide temporary room and board and case managers or housing navigators who work to connect homeless individuals and families to permanent housing, as well as income, public benefits, treatment, and other services.
(B) Outreach services to connect unsheltered homeless individuals and families to interim interventions and permanent housing.
(C) Shelter diversion, including service integration activities, to connect individuals and families to alternate housing arrangements, services, and financial assistance.
(b) A recipient shall not use more than 20 percent of grant funds in each fiscal year for operating support for interim interventions as described in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a). The department may increase this amount above 20 percent if the applicant can demonstrate both of the following:
(1) Significant previous investment in permanent housing available to people exiting interim interventions.
(2) A viable plan to allow at least 40 percent of people exiting an interim intervention to exit to permanent housing.
(c) A recipient shall not use more than 20 percent of grant funds in the second or later years of any fiscal year for systems support described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a).
(d) A recipient may use up to 10 percent of the total grant awarded, or a higher amount upon approval by the department, for administrative costs.

50491.4.
 (a) The department shall allocate funding to ensure recipients serve one or more of the following populations, so long as the populations also meet target population eligibility:
(1) At least 30 percent of funding shall serve people experiencing chronic homelessness and people experiencing homelessness and who are high-cost health users.
(A) In allocating funding to serve this population, the department shall partner with the State Department of Health Care Services to track health care utilization and participate in an evaluation of the outcomes, according to the requirements included in the Housing for a Healthy California Program (Part 14.2 (commencing with Section 53590)).
(B) The department shall work with the State Department of Health Care Services to coordinate Medi-Cal services funding with rental assistance and operating subsidies funded under the program, and shall implement guidelines to ensure coordination of existing Medi-Cal programs.
(2) At least 20 percent of the funding shall serve people experiencing homelessness as a family or single adult.
(A) In allocating funding to serve this population, the department may incorporate guidelines created pursuant to the California Emergency Solutions and Housing Program (Chapter 2.8 (commencing with Section 50490)).
(B) The department shall work with the State Department of Social Services to draft guidelines ensuring recipients establish processes for serving families experiencing homelessness and child welfare involvement.
(C) Recipients shall use a portion of funds received pursuant to this paragraph to do both of the following:
(i) Match homeless data with child welfare data, to allow local systems to identify families who need housing to reunite with children in foster care and families receiving child welfare services experiencing homelessness.
(ii) Fund a liaison who shall coordinate housing-based services and treatment funded through Title IV-E of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 671 et seq.) and the federal Families First Prevention Services Act (Public Law 115-123).
(3) At least 10 percent of the funding shall serve people experiencing homelessness who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. In allocating funding to serve this population, the department shall partner with the Office of Emergency Services to create guidelines and draft plans that do all of the following:
(A) Ensure services include culturally competent housing navigation in domestic violence shelters and trauma-informed case management.
(B) Foster collaboration between domestic violence and sexual assault providers and homeless systems.
(C) Provide capacity building assistance to improve and strengthen how homeless, domestic violence, and sexual assault systems work together to improve outcomes for homeless survivors.
(D) Provide rental assistance or operating subsidies to survivors exiting Office of Emergency Services’ Domestic Violence Housing First program, transitional housing, and emergency housing programs.
(4) At least 10 percent of the funding shall serve people on parole, or who meet the eligibility criteria of subdivision (c) of Section 2985.2 of the Penal Code.
(A) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall, to the extent consistent with any prior appropriation, allocate at least ten million dollars ($10,000,000) per year that were appropriated to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for the day center and mental health crisis care that are used for the Integrated Services for Mentally Ill Parolees program to serve participants under this program. For purposes of this subparagraph, “Integrated Services for Mentally Ill Parolees program” means the program of supportive services and housing support provided pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 2985) of Chapter 7 of Title 1 of Part 3 of the Penal Code.
(B) In allocating funding to serve this population, the department shall work with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to establish guidelines that do all of the following:
(i) Provide culturally competent services in coordination with housing funded under the program.
(ii) Establish a process for identifying and referring participants into the program.
(iii) Ensure participants of programs designed to reduce recidivism among Californians likely to recidivate to prison are exiting state-funded programs into permanent housing.
(5) At least 10 percent of the funding shall serve people experiencing homelessness as older adults. In allocating funding to serve this population, the department shall work with the California Department on Aging to draft guidelines to address the needs of this population.
(b) The department may adjust the percentages or add populations identified in subdivision (a) based on a data-based assessment of state need and inventory.

50491.5.
 (a) The department shall distribute funds allocated to a recipient by executing a contract with that entity that shall be for a term of five years, subject to renewal. Upon expiration of a contract, any funds not expended for eligible activities shall revert to the department for use for the program.
(b) A recipient shall submit an annual report to the department on a form issued by the department, pertaining to the recipient’s program or project selection process, contract expenditures, and progress toward meeting state and local goals as demonstrated by the performance measures set forth in the application.
(c) As part of the annual report required pursuant to subdivision (b), the recipient shall report to the department on the expenditures and activities of any subrecipients for each year of the term of the contract with the department until all funds awarded to a subrecipient have been expended.
(d) The department may monitor the expenditures and activities of the recipient, as the department deems necessary, to ensure compliance with program requirements.
(e) The department may, as it deems appropriate or necessary, request the repayment of funds from a recipient or pursue any other remedies available to it by law for failure to comply with program requirements.
(f) Commencing on January 1, 2023, and each January 1 thereafter, the department shall evaluate the outcomes of the program and report the outcomes to the Senate Committee on Housing and the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development. This report shall comply with the requirements of Section 9795 of the Government Code.

50491.6.
 Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, commencing with the 2019–20 fiscal year and every fiscal year thereafter, there is hereby continuously appropriated, without regard to fiscal year, from the General Fund in the State Treasury, the amount of four hundred fifty million dollars ($450,000,000) to the department, for the purposes of this program.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8258 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

8258.
 (a) The coordinating council shall work with the Department of Housing and Community Development to create a California Funder’s Collaborative.
(b) The Funder’s Collaborative shall do all of the following:
(1) Coordinate housing and services funding on a project and program level.
(2) Establish a process for incorporating private contributions into state programs to create local innovations, establish pilots, or evaluate programs.
(3) Provide state departments and agencies data and best practices from the local level.
(c) Members of the Funder’s Collaborative shall be as follows:
(1) Staff the coordinating council has appointed to represent foundations working to solve homelessness, criminal justice inequities, social determinants of health, the impact of homelessness on child welfare involvement, domestic violence, and other private funders with an interest in solving homelessness.
(2) One representative from each of the departments that fund housing and housing-based services that are represented on the coordinating counsil pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 8257.
(3) A chair appointed by the chair of the coordinating council.