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AB-724 Homelessness programs: funding.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/26/2021 04:00 AM
AB724:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 724


Introduced by Assembly Member Ward

February 16, 2021


An act to amend Section 17910 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to housing. add Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 15302) to Part 6.6 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code relating to homelessness.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 724, as amended, Ward. Housing. Homelessness programs: funding.
Existing law establishes various programs, including, among others, the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program, to provide assistance to homeless persons. Existing law requires a state agency or department that funds, implements, or administers a state program that provides housing or housing-related services to people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness to revise or adopt guidelines and regulations to include enumerated Housing First policies.
Existing law establishes the Multifamily Housing Program administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Existing law authorizes specified funds that are appropriated to provide housing for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness, and who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to be disbursed in accordance with the Multifamily Housing Program, including as grants to cities, counties, and other local public entities, for enumerated uses, including acquisition or rehabilitation of motels, hotels, or hostels, and conversion of units from nonresidential to residential.
This bill would require specified state entities to, not later than January 1, 2023, develop a streamlined funding program that meets specified criteria, to support the state’s policy goal of reducing homelessness statewide by providing funding opportunities for local governments, as defined, to increase their capacity to respond to local homelessness needs through providing housing, emergency shelters, or other assistance to homeless individuals and families, or those at risk for homelessness, as defined, designed to reduce homelessness in their local areas. The bill would require, not later than January 1, 2023, the state entities to prepare and submit to the Legislature a report on their proposed programs, as provided.

The State Housing Law establishes statewide construction and occupancy standards for buildings used for human habitation. That law requires the building department of every city or county to enforce within its jurisdiction the provisions of the State Building Standards Code, the provisions of the State Housing Law, and specified other rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to that law.

This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to the provision naming the State Housing Law.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 15302) is added to Part 6.6 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
CHAPTER  3. Homelessness Funding Programs

15302.
 The following definitions apply to this chapter:
(a) “Continuum of care” has the same meaning as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development at Section 586.5 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(b) “Local government” means a city, county, or city and county and shall include established continuum of care provider entities.

15302.1.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that programs be established to support the state’s policy goal of reducing homelessness statewide by providing funding opportunities for local governments to increase their capacity to respond to local homelessness needs through providing housing, emergency shelters, or other assistance to homeless individuals and families, or those at risk for homelessness, as defined in Section 578.3 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulation, designed to reduce homelessness in their local areas.
(b) The state entities specified in this section shall, not later that January 1, 2023, develop a streamlined funding program which does all of the following:
(1) Creates a streamlined funding approval process for local governments which may be based upon the local government’s approval status to receive funds pursuant to Section 50675.1.1 of the Health and Safety Code.
(2) Establishes an expedited track for local governments to receive appropriations, when approved, toward homelessness programs, services, and facilities that support the state’s policy goal in subdivision (a).
(3) Applies to local governments that have demonstrated the ability to execute funds in an expedited manner. The state entities may use previous state funding approvals and requirements to determine eligibility based upon this factor. Those local governments that have received and met state guidelines with previous funds, and can demonstrate capability to meet the state policy goal stated in subdivision (a) of appropriated funds, may qualify for fast track with subsequent accountability and review in place.
(4) Specifies that local governments that have failed to meet goals of previous awards, have not complied with accountability measures for previous awards, or cannot demonstrate readiness to apply new awards would not be eligible for this expedited approval process for a period of time to be determined by the state entities but would be eligible to apply for funding under any existing review and approval processes to award appropriations.
(5) Provides for a subsequent accountability process.
(6) Revokes the eligibility of local governments to participate in this streamlined funding approval process that continue to fail to meet goals of state funding awards or cannot demonstrate readiness to apply new awards.
(7) Establishes criteria, procedures, and accountability measures as may be necessary to implement the program.
(8) Ensures that priority is given to underserved populations, including both urban and rural areas and low-income communities.
(c) This section applies to the following state entities:
(1) Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.
(2) California Competes Tax Credit Committee.
(3) California Housing Finance Agency.
(4) Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(5) Department of Housing and Community Development.
(6) Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council.
(7) Office of Emergency Services.
(8) State Department of Education.
(9) State Department of Health Care Services.
(10) State Department of Social Services.
(d) Not later than January 1, 2023, the state entities listed in subdivision (c) shall prepare and submit to the Legislature a report on their proposed programs in compliance with Section 9795, which shall include the following:
(1) The amount of funding the program proposes to be set aside for the program each year and funding sources for the program.
(2) The number of local government and continuum of care grants anticipated to be provided.
(3) The criteria the state entity proposes to use to evaluate eligibility for funding.
(4) Identification of the total number housing units, facilities, and beds which the state entity anticipates to be funded through the program.
(5) Identification of the total number of homeless individuals and families, or those at risk for homelessness which the state entity anticipates to be assisted through the program.
(e) The programs specified in this chapter shall be implemented by further legislation by the Legislature.

SECTION 1.Section 17910 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
17910.

This part is known, and may be cited, as the State Housing Law.