Today's Law As Amended

PDF |Add To My Favorites | print page

SB-282 Supportive housing for parolees.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) People on parole are seven times more likely to recidivate when homeless than when housed.
(b) Evidence shows that supportive housing, or housing that is affordable to people on parole living in extreme poverty that does not limit the length of stay and offers tenants services promoting housing stability, reduces recidivism and improves the tenant’s ability to recover from mental illness.
(c) The Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, Senate Bill 1021 in 2012, which included direction to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide, pursuant to Section 3073 of Penal Code, a supportive housing program for people on parole experiencing mental illness and homelessness, as set forth in Article 5 (commencing with Section 2985) of Chapter 7 of Title 1 of Part 3 of the Penal Code. The program was intended to use funds budgeted for the Integrated Services for Mentally Ill Parolees (ISMIP) program to provide supportive housing, in accordance with Senate Bill 1021. Funds have not been used for their legislatively intended purposes to create supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness while on parole.
(d) In 2017, the University of California, Los Angeles, completed an evaluation of the ISMIP program and found that there were not significant reductions in recidivism among ISMIP participants, as compared to other persons who did not participate in the ISMIP program.
(e) It is the intent of the Legislature to strengthen programs for our most vulnerable people on parole to promote evidence-based, wraparound services, including rental subsidies, in an amount adequate to allow mentally ill parolees experiencing homelessness, or at risk of experiencing homelessness upon release from prison, to obtain and maintain housing stability during and after the term of parole, thereby reducing recidivism among those with a history of homelessness. The Department of Housing and Community Development, with its expertise in overseeing grant programs for housing and services, and counties with experience providing housing and services to people being released from incarceration, are appropriate entities to administer programs offering evidence-based housing and services interventions to people on parole experiencing homelessness.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 2.9 (commencing with Section 50492) is added to Part 2 of Division 3 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:

CHAPTER  2.9. Supportive Housing Program for Persons on Parole
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Applicant” means a county that has applied to receive funds under the program.
(b) “Chronically homeless” 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, 2018, and also includes people who were chronically homeless before entering an institution upon discharge from that institution, regardless of the length of institutional stay.
(c) “Continuum of care” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 578.3 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(d) “County” includes a city and county or a city that is working with one or more counties to apply for grant funds.
(e) “Department” means the Department of Housing and Community Development, unless otherwise identified.
(f) “Fair market rent” means the rent, including the cost of utilities, other than the telephone, as established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, for units of varying sizes, as determined by the number of bedrooms, that is paid in the market area to rent privately owned, existing, decent, safe, and sanitary rental housing of a modest nature with suitable amenities.
(g) “Homeless” has the same meaning as in Section 91.5 of Subpart A of Part 91 of Subtitle A of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations. A person 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.”
(h) “Homeless services provider” means an organization that qualifies as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that contracts with a participating county for the purpose of providing services to people experiencing homelessness.
(i) “Housing First” has the same meaning as in Section 8255 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(j) “Housing navigation” means services provided prior to release or in the community that assist program participants with all of the following:
(1) Locating permanent housing with private market landlords or property managers who are willing to accept rental assistance or operating subsidies for the program participants.
(2) Assisting participants in obtaining local, state, or federal rental assistance or subsidies.
(3) Completing housing applications for permanent housing and, when applicable, rental assistance or subsidies.
(4) Move-in assistance.
(5) Obtaining documentation needed to access permanent housing and rental assistance or subsidies.
(k) “Integrated Services for Mentally Ill Parolees program” or “ISMIP program” means the program of services provided pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 2985) of Chapter 7 of Title 1 of Part 3 of the Penal Code.
(l) “Interim interventions” means housing that does not qualify as permanent housing as defined under subdivision (n), including, but not limited to, emergency shelters, motel vouchers, or navigation centers as defined under other federal, state, or local programs. All programs providing interim interventions funded pursuant to this chapter shall have partnerships or other links to homeless services to connect individuals and families to income, public benefits, health services, and permanent housing.
(m) (1) “Likely to become homeless upon release” means the individual has a history of experiencing “homelessness” as that term is used in subdivision (e) of Section 11302 of Title 42 of the United States Code and the individual satisfies either of the following criteria:
(A) The person has not identified a fixed, regular, and adequate residence to occupy upon release.
(B) The person’s only identified nighttime residence for release includes a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, or a public or private place not designed for, or is not ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
(2) A person who is being released from prison who was homeless prior to being incarcerated and who does not have an identified residence to occupy upon release is also “likely to become homeless upon release.”
(n) “Permanent housing” means a structure or set of structures with subsidized or unsubsidized rental housing units subject to applicable landlord-tenant law, without a limit on the length of stay and without a requirement to participate in supportive services as a condition of access to or continued occupancy of the housing. “Permanent housing” includes supportive housing.
(o) “Permanent supportive housing” means permanent housing without a limit on the length of stay that is linked to onsite or offsite services that assist the supportive housing residents in retaining the housing, improving the participant’s health status, and maximizing the participant’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.
(p) “Program” means the Supportive Housing Program for Persons on Parole.
(q) “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.
(r) “Subrecipient” means a unit of local government or a private nonprofit or for-profit organization that the administrative entity 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.
(s) “Voluntary services” means services offered in conjunction with housing that is not contingent on participation in services, from which tenants are not evicted based on failure to participate in services, where the service provider engages the tenant to encourage the tenant to voluntarily participate in services using evidence-based engagement models, and services are flexible and tenant centered.
 (a) There is hereby created the Supportive Housing Program for Persons on Parole.
(b) Upon the operative date of this chapter, both of the following shall occur:
(1) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall do both of the following:
(A) Transfer to the department all funds appropriated from the General Fund to the ISMIP program on an annual basis for purposes of funding the program.
(B) Work with the Department of Housing and Community Development to do both of the following:
(i) Establish a process for referral of eligible participants into the program, including participants from the ISMIP program upon the repeal of the ISMIP program.
(ii) Collaborate to provide data regarding recidivism for evaluating the program that includes outcomes, costs, and recidivism among participants, pursuant to Section 50492.4.
(2) The department shall do all of the following:
(A) Create the program to provide grants to counties to fund permanent supportive housing and wraparound services to people on parole experiencing mental illness and homelessness or risk of homelessness upon release from prison, using funding currently used for the ISMIP program.
(B) Issue guidelines establishing the grant program and a notice of funding availability or request for proposals for five-year renewable grants to counties. Applicants shall demonstrate all of the following:
(i) A viable plan to provide permanent supportive housing with services based on evidence-based practices, pursuant to Section 50492.3.
(ii) A viable plan to provide evidence-based mental health treatment and services to participants through the operating county Medi-Cal mental health program and, for participants ineligible for Medi-Cal, through another source of funding, so long as medically necessary.
(iii) A viable plan to meet reporting requirements, as described in Section 50492.4.
(C) Establish criteria to score counties applying for grant funds competitively. Scoring criteria shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(i) Need, which includes consideration of the number of individuals experiencing homelessness among people on parole, to the extent data is available.
(ii) The extent of coordination and collaboration between the applicant, the continuum of care covering the geographic area, and homeless service providers with a history of serving people reentering communities from incarceration, using Housing First core components.
(iii) The ability of the applicant or proposed subrecipient to administer or partner to administer funding.
(iv) The applicant’s documented partnerships with affordable and supportive housing providers in the jurisdiction.
(v) Demonstrated commitment to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness and recent incarceration through existing programs or programs planned to be implemented within 12 months.
(vi) 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 and recidivism.
(vii) In counties overseeing housing authorities, the extent to which an applicant demonstrates housing authorities have eliminated or plan to eliminate restrictions against people with arrests or criminal convictions to access publicly funded housing subsidies, notwithstanding restrictions mandated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
(c) (1) A person on parole is eligible for participation in this program if all of the following are applicable:
(A) The person has a serious mental disorder as defined in Section 5600.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(B) The individual voluntarily chooses to participate.
(C) Either of the following applies:
(i) The individual has been assigned a date of release within 60 to 180 days and is likely to become homeless upon release.
(ii) The person is currently experiencing homelessness as a person on parole.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, a participant shall continue to receive housing and services funded under the program after discharge from parole, so long as the participant needs this assistance.
 (a) An applicant shall use program funds for the following eligible activities:
(1) One or both of the following:
(A) Rental assistance in an amount the applicant identifies, but no more than twice the fair market rent for the community in which the applicant is providing rental assistance.
(B) 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.
(2) Incentives to landlords, including, but not limited to, security deposits and holding fees.
(3) Services to assist participants in accessing permanent supportive housing and to promote housing stability in supportive housing, including services identified in subdivision (c).
(4) If necessary, operating support for interim interventions.
(b) Homeless service providers shall offer voluntary services, in accordance with Section 5806 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, in conjunction with housing, to obtain and maintain health and housing stability while participants are on parole and after discharge from parole, so long as the participant needs the services or the grant period ends.
(c) The services shall be offered to participants in their home, or be made as easily accessible to participants as possible and shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Services promoting housing and health stability, including, but not limited to, the full service partnership model, the assertive community treatment model, or other evidence-based models of service provision.
(2) Housing navigation services.
(3) Engagement to encourage participation in Medi-Cal-funded mental health treatment, substance use disorder treatment, and medical treatment, as medically necessary.
(d) For participants identified prior to release from prison, upon the provider’s receipt of referral and, in collaboration with the parole agent and, if appropriate, staff, the intake coordinator or case manager of the provider shall, when possible:
(1) Receive all prerelease assessments and discharge plans.
(2) Draft a plan for the participant’s transition into supportive housing.
(3) Engage the participant to actively participate in services upon release on a voluntary basis.
(4) Assist in obtaining identification for the participant, if necessary.
(5) Assist in applying for any benefits for which the participant is eligible.
(e) Upon referral to the provider, the provider shall work to promote housing stability, using the core components of Housing First.
 (a) Providers shall identify and locate supportive housing opportunities for participants prior to release from state prison or as quickly upon release from state prison as possible, or as quickly as possible when participants are identified during parole.
(b) Housing identified pursuant to subdivision (a) shall satisfy all of the following:
(1) Tenants have rights and responsibilities of tenancy and are required to sign a lease with a landlord or property manager that complies with the core components of Housing First.
(2) The housing is located in an apartment building, townhouse, or single-family home, including rent-subsidized apartments leased in the open market or set aside within privately owned buildings, or affordable or supportive housing receiving a publicly funded subsidy.
(3) The housing is not subject to community care licensing requirements or is exempt from licensing pursuant to Section 1504.5.
 (a) The department shall distribute funds by executing contracts with awarded entities that shall be for a term of five years, subject to renewal. After a contract has expired pursuant to this subdivision, any funds not expended for eligible activities shall revert to the department for use for the program.
(b) A recipient shall submit to the department an annual report 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. Applicants shall report the following data:
(1) The number of participants served.
(2) The types of services that were provided to program participants.
(3) The outcomes for participants, including the number who remain permanently housed, the number who ceased to participate in the program and the reason why, the number who returned to state prison or were incarcerated in county jails, the number of arrests among participants, and the number of days in jail or prison among participants, to the extent data are available.
(4) The number of participants who successfully completed parole.
(c) The department shall design an evaluation and hire an independent evaluator to assess outcomes from the program, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) The total number of parolees served and the type of interventions provided.
(2) The housing status of participants at 12, 24, and 36 months after entering the program, to the extent this data are available, including the number of participants remain in permanent housing.
(3) Recidivism among participants, including the number of arrests, days incarcerated, and incarceration in jail or prison.
(d) 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.
(e) The department may monitor the expenditures and activities of the recipient, as the department deems necessary, to ensure compliance with program requirements.
(f) The department may, as it deems appropriate or necessary, request the repayment of funds from an administrative entity or pursue any other remedies available to it by law for failure to comply with program requirements.
(g) Three years after the operative date of this chapter, the department shall submit the evaluation prepared pursuant to subdivision (c) 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 Committee on Housing, and the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development.
 (a) This chapter shall become operative upon a determination by the Department of Finance, in consultation with the Legislative Analyst’s Office, that sufficient funding has been appropriated by the Legislature to the department for the purposes of this chapter. Upon making a determination that sufficient funding has been appropriated, the Department of Finance shall notify the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.
(b) The Department of Finance, in consultation with the Legislative Analyst’s Office, shall conduct a study in order to make the determination described in subdivision (a).

SEC. 3.

 Section 2985.6 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

 This article shall remain in effect only until the Director of Finance has notified the Joint Legislative Budget Committee pursuant to Section 50492.6 of the Health and Safety Code, and as of that date is repealed.