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AB-683 Homelessness: housing status data.(2011-2012)



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AB683:v93#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  August 06, 2012
Amended  IN  Senate  July 06, 2012
Amended  IN  Senate  June 21, 2012
Amended  IN  Senate  June 13, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 24, 2011

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 683


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Ammiano
(Coauthor(s): Assembly Member Atkins, Hueso, Torres)

February 17, 2011


An act to add Chapter 6.1 (commencing with Section 13710) to Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to homeless persons.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 683, as amended, Ammiano. Homelessness: housing status data.
Under existing law, various agencies administer programs for the support of homeless persons. Existing law also provides for public social services programs, such as the CalWORKs program, the Medi-Cal program, and CalFresh.
This bill would require the Employment Development Department, the State Department of Health Care Services, and the State Department of Social Services to inquire in both paper applications and electronic applications, as prescribed, into the housing status of persons who apply for specified benefits Medi-Cal and CalFresh benefits to determine whether or not an applicant has stable housing, is at risk of homelessness, or the beneficiary or applicant is experiencing homelessness homeless. This bill would require those departments only to implement those provisions the State Department of Health Care Services to refine the Medi-Cal application questions only when there is another reason to revise the specified applications application, and would require the State Department of Social Services to refine the CalFresh application questions at the next scheduled revision of the application. This bill, commencing at the end of the first fiscal year following the application changes required pursuant to these provisions, would require each department to begin including in its relevant reports to the budget committees of the Legislature specified information relating to homeless beneficiaries and households, as applicable.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to gather accurate and consistent data about Californians who lack housing stability and how these persons use health and social services.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 6.1 (commencing with Section 13710) is added to Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  6.1. Housing Data

13710.
 (a) The State Department of Health Care Services shall inquire into the housing status of persons who apply for Medi-Cal benefits.
(1) Both paper and electronic application forms for Medi-Cal benefits shall include questions to determine whether the applicant is homeless, as defined in Section 582.5 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Questions included in the applications for benefits shall be drafted so that an applicant is able to identify easily with specific options offered as alternative responses and shall, at a minimum, address the permanency and condition of the applicant’s housing.
(2) Providing answers to questions regarding housing status specified in paragraph (1) shall be optional for Medi-Cal applicants and shall not be required in order for an application form to be considered complete or for the submission of an electronic application form for Medi-Cal.
(3) The State Department of Health Care Services shall refine the Medi-Cal application to be consistent with the definition referenced in paragraph (1) only when there is another reason to revise an application for benefits.
(b) At the end of the first fiscal year following application changes required by this section, the State Department of Health Care Services shall begin including in its relevant reports to the budget committees of the Legislature the number of Medi-Cal beneficiaries who are homeless, and the number of those beneficiaries who indicated being homeless for longer than one year.

13711.
 (a) The State Department of Social Services shall inquire into the housing status of persons who apply for CalFresh benefits.
(1) The State Department of Social Services shall seek any necessary federal waivers to align the CalFresh definition of a person who is homeless with the definition of homeless in Section 582.5 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and consistent with the questions identified in paragraph (3).
(2) The State Department of Social Services shall, upon approval of any necessary waivers as described in paragraph (1), and at the next scheduled revision of the paper and online application, refine the CalFresh application to be consistent with the definition referenced in paragraph (1).
(3) Both paper and electronic application forms for CalFresh benefits shall include questions to determine whether the applicant is homeless, as defined in Section 582.5 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Questions included in the applications for benefits shall be drafted so that an applicant is able to identify easily with specific options offered as alternative responses and shall, at a minimum, address the permanency and condition of the applicant’s housing.
(b) At the end of the first fiscal year following application changes required by this section, the State Department of Social Services shall begin including in its relevant reports to the budget committees of the Legislature the number of CalFresh households that are homeless, the number of CalFresh households that have been homeless for longer than one year, and the number of CalWORKS households that have requested homeless assistance.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to gather accurate, consistent data about Californians who lack housing stability, and how these persons use social services. It is further the intent of the Legislature to use this data to understand and address the needs of Californians who lack housing stability.

SEC. 2.Chapter 6.1 (commencing with Section 13710) is added to Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
6.1.Housing Data
13710.

(a)The following departments shall inquire, pursuant to subdivision (b), into the housing status of persons who apply for the following benefits to determine whether or not an applicant has stable housing, is at risk of homelessness, or is experiencing homelessness.

(1)The Employment Development Department shall inquire into the housing status of persons who apply for unemployment insurance benefits.

(2)The State Department of Health Care Services shall inquire into the housing status of persons who apply for Medi-Cal benefits.

(3)The State Department of Social Services shall inquire into the housing status of persons who apply for California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) benefits and CalFresh.

(b)Both paper and electronic application forms for the benefits specified in subdivision (a) shall include the following questions, and the following answers that an applicant may select, to determine each applicant’s housing status:

(1)Do you own or rent housing, or if you do not own or rent, do you have a permanent place to live?

(A)Own.

(B)Rent.

(C)Have a permanent place to live.

(D)Do not have a permanent place to live.

(2)If you do not have a permanent place to live, where are you currently staying?

(A)With a friend or family member.

(B)At a transitional living facility.

(C)At a shelter or church.

(D)In a car.

(E)At a migrant camp.

(F)In a place not intended for habitation (for example, a bus depot or train station).

(G)On the streets.

(H)Other.

(3)If you do not have a permanent place to live, how long have you not had a permanent place to live?

(A)Less than one year.

(B)Over one year.

(C)Off and on for two or three years.

(D)Off and on for three or more years.

(c)Answers to questions regarding housing status specified in subdivision (b) shall be optional and are not required in order for an application form to be considered complete or for the submission of an electronic application form.

(d)When applicable, information regarding housing status as specified in subdivision (b) may be collected during an interview process in lieu of an initial application or supplemental application form.

(e)Each department identified in subdivision (a) shall implement this section only when there is another reason to revise an application for benefits.