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AB-258 Emergency shelters and transitional housing: Emergency Housing and Assistance Program: pets.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 01/15/2021 09:00 PM
AB258:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 258


Introduced by Assembly Member Villapudua
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Nazarian, Santiago, and Ward)
(Coauthor: Senator Archuleta)

January 15, 2021


An act to add Section 50801.6 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to housing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 258, as introduced, Villapudua. Emergency shelters and transitional housing: Emergency Housing and Assistance Program: pets.
Existing law requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to administer the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program. Under the program, moneys from the continuously appropriated Emergency Housing and Assistance Fund are available for the purposes of providing shelter, as specified, to homeless persons at as low of a cost and as quickly as possible, without compromising the health and safety of shelter occupants, to encourage the move of homeless persons from shelters to a self-supporting environment as soon as possible, to encourage provision of services for as many persons at risk of homelessness as possible, to encourage compatible and effective funding of homeless services, and to encourage coordination among public agencies that fund or provide services to homeless individuals, as well as agencies that discharge people from their institutions. Existing law, and regulations adopted by the department, establish the eligibility requirements for an applicant or grantee under the program.
This bill would for purposes of the program, in addition to other eligibility requirements, specify that an applicant or grantee under the program that provides emergency shelter or transitional housing for homeless persons shall not prohibit the keeping of not more than one pet, as defined, by a homeless person. The bill would authorize an applicant or grantee to require the removal of any pet whose conduct or condition is determined to constitute a threat or nuisance to the other occupants of the emergency shelter or transitional housing. The bill would prohibit an applicant or grantee from imposing rules that would make it financially prohibitive for a homeless person to own a pet. The bill would, with exceptions, relieve an applicant or grantee of liability for personal or property damage caused by any pet in the emergency shelter or transitional housing accommodation. The bill would specify that its provisions do not prohibit an applicant or grantee from adopting reasonable regulations relating to the keeping of pets in an emergency shelter or transitional housing accomodation. The bill would further specify, among other things, that its provisions do not relieve a homeless person from any liability otherwise imposed by law for damages caused by such pet. The bill would encourage applicants and grantees, where available, to partner with organizations within the community to provide food and veterinary care for the pet if necessary.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 50801.6 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

50801.6.
 (a) In addition to any eligibility requirements established pursuant to Section 50801.5 or by regulation, an applicant or grantee that provides emergency shelter or transitional housing to homeless persons shall not prohibit the keeping of not more than one pet by a homeless person.
(b) Nothing in this section shall prevent an applicant or grantee from requiring the removal from any emergency shelter or transitional housing of any pet whose conduct or condition is duly determined to constitute a threat or nuisance to the other occupants of the emergency shelter or transitional housing. No pet may be kept in violation of humane or health laws. Nothing in this section authorizes an applicant or grantee to impose any requirement which makes the keeping of a pet by a homeless person financially prohibitive.
(c) An applicant or grantee shall not be liable for personal or property damages caused by any pet in the emergency shelter or transitional housing accommodation, except upon proof of prior actual knowledge on behalf of its agents or employees of a dangerous propensity of the pet or hazardous condition created by the pet.
(d) Nothing in this section shall prevent an applicant or grantee from adopting reasonable regulations relating to any such pets; prevent the adoption of differing terms for the tenancy which are reasonably related to the presence of such pet; or relieve a homeless person from any liability otherwise imposed by law for damages caused by such pet when proof of same exists.
(e) Where available, applicants and grantees are encouraged to partner with organizations within the community to provide food and veterinary care for the pet if necessary.
(f) For purposes of this section, “pet” means a domesticated dog or cat.