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

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Date Published: 01/06/2020 09:00 PM
AB1845:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1845


Introduced by Assembly Member Luz Rivas

January 06, 2020


An act to add Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 12095) to Part 2 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and to amend Sections 8256 and 8257 of, and to add Section 8257.5 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to state government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1845, as introduced, Luz Rivas. Homelessness: Office to End Homelessness.
(1) Existing law establishes various offices within the Governor’s office with specified duties and responsibilities.
This bill would create, within the Governor’s office, the Governor’s Office to End Homelessness, which would be administered by the Secretary on Housing Insecurity and Homelessness appointed by the Governor. The bill would require that the office serve the Governor as the lead entity for ending homelessness in California and would task the office with coordinating the various federal, state, and local departments and agencies that provide housing and services to individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. The bill would require the office to exercise various powers and duties, including, among others, making recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature regarding policies, programs, and actions to end homelessness and developing universal guidelines and standards for providing services to individuals experiencing homelessness.
(2) Existing law requires the Governor to establish the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (referred to as “the coordinating council”) and appoint up to 19 members of that council, including the Secretary of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing, or the secretary’s designee, to serve as the chair of the coordinating council. Existing law requires that the coordinating council be under the direction of an executive director, who is under the direction of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, and staffed by employees of that agency.
This bill would require that the coordinating council be under the supervision of the Secretary on Housing Insecurity and Homelessness of the Governor’s Office to End Homelessness. The bill would further require that the Secretary on Housing Insecurity and Homelessness, or the secretary’s designee, serve as chair of the council in place of the Secretary of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing. The bill would provide for the transfer of specified duties, powers, employees, assets, and liabilities of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency to the Governor’s Office to End Homelessness with respect to the coordinating council.
(3) Existing law provides that the goals of the coordinating council include, among other things, creating partnerships among state agencies and departments, local government agencies, federal agencies, and specified other entities for the purpose of arriving at specific strategies to end homelessness. Existing law requires agencies and departments administering state programs, as defined, to collaborate with the coordinating council to adopt guidelines and regulations, or to revise existing guidelines and regulations, as applicable, to incorporate core components of Housing First, as defined.
This bill would require, upon the request of the coordinating council, an agency or department that administers one or more state programs to furnish to the coordinating council any relevant information regarding those state programs.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


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) “Office” means the Governor’s Office to End Homelessness.
(b) “Secretary” means the Secretary on Housing Insecurity and Homelessness of the Governor’s Office to End Homelessness.

Article  2. General Provisions

12095.1.
 (a) The Governor’s 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 be responsible to the Governor.
(b) The Governor shall appoint the Secretary on Housing Insecurity and 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 Housing Insecurity and Homelessness of the Governor’s Office to End Homelessness shall be fixed pursuant to Section 12001.

Article  3. Powers and Duties

12095.2.
 The office’s primary purpose is to coordinate homelessness services, data, and policies between federal, state, and local agencies, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) The Department of Transportation.
(b) The Department of Housing and Community Development.
(c) The State Department of Social Services.
(d) The California Housing Finance Agency.
(e) The State Department of Health Care Services.
(f) The Department of Veterans Affairs.
(g) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(h) The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee in the Treasurer’s office.
(i) The Office of Emergency Services.
(j) The State Department of Education.
(k) The state public higher education system, including:
(1) The California Community Colleges.
(2) The University of California.
(3) The California State University.
(l) Local agencies and organizations that participate in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care Program.

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) Recommend to the Governor and the Legislature new state policies, programs, and actions, or amendments to existing programs, that advance statewide homelessness prevention goals through a need-gap analysis.
(2) Convene staff from state agencies and department that provide services to those experiencing homelessness for the purpose of developing universal guidelines and standards for providing services to individuals experiencing homelessness.
(3) Utilize evidence-based housing and services models and standard agreement requirements to coordinate the standardization of housing and services to individuals experiencing homelessness.
(4) Establish a process for agencies and departments to collectively identify, assist, and track individuals exiting state-funded institutions that are at risk of homelessness.
(5) Fund housing navigation for people at risk of homelessness upon discharge from state-funded institutions including, prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, and similar institutions.
(6) Develop a universal application for individuals, developers, and other entities to apply to the agencies and departments listed in Section 12095.2 for homelessness services, funding, and housing.
(7) Issue funding to address homelessness to local agencies through a unified funding application, and, to achieve a seamless process, conduct the application process in consideration of the timing of the distribution of similar federal funding.
(8) Examine and promote racially equitable policies for departments and agencies that provide housing and services to individuals experiencing homelessness.
(9) Accept monetary donations or other donations from businesses, nonprofit organizations, or individuals for the purpose of encouraging innovation in ending homelessness and providing housing and other services.
(b) The office shall coordinate the state agencies and departments listed in Section 12095.2 to reduce the risk of long-term homelessness by developing specific protocol and procedures that accomplish the following:
(1) Connect domestic violence survivors that are exiting shelters and transitional housing to housing navigation and rental assistance programs.
(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.
(5) Create local processes that make child welfare services available to unaccompanied minors experiencing homelessness.

12095.4.
 The office shall oversee the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council.

12095.5.
 It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish a funder's collaborative administered and overseen by the office. The funder's collaborative would engage in the day-to-day activities to standardize funding for housing and homelessness services and to solicit and receive funding from businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals for the purpose of encouraging innovation in ending 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, 2020.
(2) An agency or department that administers programs that fund recovery housing shall additionally do both of the following:
(A) Consult with the Legislature, the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, and other stakeholders between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020, 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) By March 1, 2020, submit a report to the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review and the Assembly Committee on Budget on its efforts to comply with Housing First specifically and to improve the provision of housing to individuals who receive housing assistance from the agency or department generally.
(3) (A) For purposes of this subdivision, “recovery housing” means sober living facilities and programs that provide housing in an abstinence-focused and peer-supported community if 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 of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(B) 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. 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 Housing Insecurity and Homelessness of the Governor’s 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 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).
(14) Setting goals to prevent and end homelessness among California’s youth.
(15) Working to improve the safety, health, and welfare of young people experiencing homelessness in the state.
(16) Increasing 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 efforts to coordinate a spectrum of funding, policy, and practice efforts related to young people experiencing homelessness.
(18) Identifying 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.
(c) (1) The Governor shall appoint up to 19 members of the council as follows:
(A) The Secretary of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing, on Housing Insecurity and Homelessness of the Governor’s Office to End Homelessness, or the secretary’s designee, who shall serve as chair of the council.
(B) A representative from the Department of Transportation.
(C) A representative from the Department of Housing and Community Development.
(D) A representative of the State Department of Social Services.
(E) A representative of the California Housing Finance Agency.
(F) A representative of the State Department of Health Care Services.
(G) A representative of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
(H) A representative of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(I) A representative from the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee in the Treasurer’s office.
(J) A representative of the Victim Services Program within the Division of Grants Management within the Office of Emergency Services.
(K) A representative from the State Department of Education.
(L) 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.
(M) A formerly homeless person who lives in California.
(N) A formerly homeless youth who lives in California.
(O) 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) State advocates or other members of the public or state agencies, at the Governor’s discretion.
(2) The Senate Committee on Rules and the Speaker of the Assembly shall each appoint one member to the council from two different stakeholder organizations.
(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.
(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 Governor’s 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.
(k) The council shall be under the direction of the executive director and staffed by employees of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency.

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 Governor’s Office to End Homelessness. The Governor’s Office to End Homelessness is hereby successor to, and is vested with, all the duties, powers, and responsibilities of the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency under this chapter with respect to the coordinating council.
(b) (1) All employees serving in state civil service, including temporary employees, who are engaged in the performance of functions transferred to the Governor’s Office to End Homelessness pursuant to this section are transferred to the Governor’s 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 Governor’s 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 Housing Insecurity and Homelessness of the Governor’s Office to End Homelessness designates a successor.
(c) The Governor’s 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 Governor’s Office to End Homelessness is transferred to the Governor’s 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 Governor’s Office to End Homelessness shall be transferred to the Governor’s 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 Governor’s 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.