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SB-18 Keep Californians Housed Act.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 12/03/2018 09:00 PM
SB18:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 18


Introduced by Senator Skinner
(Coauthors: Senators Beall and Wiener)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bonta and Wicks)

December 03, 2018


An act to add Sections 50467 and 50490.6 to, and to add Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 50570) to Part 2 of Division 31 of, the Health and Safety Code, relating to housing, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 18, as introduced, Skinner. Keep Californians Housed Act.
Existing law establishes the Department of Housing and Community Development and requires, among other things, that it update and provide a revision of the California Statewide Housing Plan to the Legislature every 4 years, as provided.
This bill, no later than January 1, 2021, would require the department to develop and publish on its Internet Web site, and to annually update, a guide to all state laws pertaining to landlords and the landlord-tenant relationship. The bill would also require the department to survey each city in this state to determine which cities, if any, provide resources or programs to inform landlords of their legal rights and obligations and to post on its Internet Web site a list of those cities which, in the judgment of the department, have the most robust resources and programs.
Existing law requires the department to administer, among other housing programs, the California Emergency Solutions and Housing Program. Under that program, the department allocates grants to administrative entities, as defined, to be used for specified eligible activities, including rental assistance and housing relocation and stabilization services to ensure housing affordability to people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.
This bill would appropriate an unspecified sum from the General Fund to the department, to be used to provide statewide competitive grants for rental assistance under the California Emergency Solutions and Housing Program, as provided. The bill would also establish the Homelessness Prevention and Legal Aid Fund and require moneys in the fund to be used, upon appropriation, to provide legal aid to tenants facing eviction or displacement in the form of competitive grants awarded by the department, as provided.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Keep Californians Housed Act.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) California is experiencing a rental housing crisis. According to analysis by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, California has only 22 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 extremely low income households.
(b) Due in part to lack of supply, California cities have some of the highest rents in the nation. San Francisco’s rent is the most expensive in the country, averaging $3,300 per month for a one-bedroom unit, and San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Anaheim are all in the top 10 for highest rents in the nation.
(c) About 29 percent of California renters spend more than one-half of their income on rent, which can make it difficult for families to afford basic items like food, clothing, transportation, and health care. In 2015, more than four in 10 households had housing costs that exceeded 30 percent of household income.
(d) The housing crisis harms families across California and has resulted in higher levels of homelessness or displacement of previously housed individuals and families. One quarter of the nation’s homeless population, and half of the nation’s unsheltered homeless, now live in California.
(e) Providing emergency financial assistance and legal aid to keep residents from being evicted will prevent evictions and potentially break the cycle of poverty.

SEC. 3.

 Section 50467 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

50467.
 (a) (1) No later than January 1, 2021, the department shall develop and publish on its Internet Web site a guide to all state laws pertaining to landlords and the landlord-tenant relationship. The department shall update the guide annually thereafter.
(2) In developing the guide required by this subdivision, the department shall include a template for cities and counties to add information pertaining to their ordinances regulating the landlord-tenant relationship. The department shall make the guide, along with the template required by this paragraph, available to each city and each county in this state in a form that allows for a city or county to add information pertaining to its ordinances.
(b) The department shall survey each city in this state to determine which cities, if any, provide resources or programs to inform landlords of their legal rights and obligations. The department shall publish on its Internet Web site a list of those cities which, in the judgment of the department, have the most robust resources and programs.

SEC. 4.

 Section 50490.6 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

50490.6.
 (a) In addition to any other moneys made available for purposes of the program, the sum of ____ dollars ($____) is hereby appropriated, notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code and without regard to fiscal year, from the General Fund to the department to be used as provided in this section.
(b) The department shall distribute funds made available pursuant to subdivision (a) to administrative entities in the form of grants awarded on a competitive basis. In administering this competitive grant program, the department shall award funds to administrative entities based on demonstrated need and ensure geographic diversity in the distribution of grant funds. Grants awarded to administrative entities pursuant to this section shall supplement, and shall not supplant, moneys otherwise allocated to them pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 50490.2.
(c) An administrative entity that receives a grant pursuant to this section shall use the funds awarded pursuant to this section exclusively for those eligible activities described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 50490.4.

SEC. 5.

 Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 50570) is added to Part 2 of Division 31 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
CHAPTER  4. Homelessness Prevention and Legal Aid

50570.
 (a) There is hereby created in the State Treasury the Homelessness Prevention and Legal Aid Fund.
(b) Upon appropriation by the Legislature, all moneys in the fund shall be used for the purpose of providing legal aid to tenants facing eviction, including by means of an unlawful detainer action pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 1159) of Title 3 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or displacement.
(c) The department shall distribute funds made available for purposes of this chapter in the form of grants awarded on a competitive basis, including grants to cities and counties to establish their own tenant legal aid programs, as provided by law.