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SB-616 Emergency Housing and Assistance Program.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/19/2021 04:00 AM
SB616:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 616


Introduced by Senator Rubio

February 18, 2021


An act to amend Sections 50800 and 50801.5 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to housing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 616, as introduced, Rubio. Emergency Housing and Assistance Program.
Existing law, the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program, requires the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to adopt regulations to administer the program and requires those regulations to, among other things, ensure that local priorities and criteria are reasonably designed to address the needs of persons experiencing homelessness and ensure that designated local boards meet reasonable standards of inclusiveness, accountability, nondiscrmination, and integrity.
This bill would additionally require the regulations adopted by HCD to ensure that designated local boards meet reasonable standards of equity.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 50800 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

50800.
 (a)  It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage the provision of shelter, with effective personal rehabilitation and self-sufficiency development services, to homeless persons experiencing homelessness at as low a cost and as quickly as possible, without compromising the health and safety of shelter occupants. It is also the intent of the Legislature to encourage the move of homeless persons experiencing homelessness 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, persons experiencing homelessness, as well as agencies that discharge people from their institutions, including, but not limited to, child welfare agencies, health care programs, and jails and prisons. Because many communities currently provide shelter and limited services to individuals who are unable or unwilling to comply with traditional housing programs only during cold and wet weather and because year-round shelter will encourage these individuals to accept services and move toward permanent housing, it is also the intent of the Legislature to increase the availability of year-round shelter to meet the special needs of those individuals, including a Safe Haven that provides supportive housing for seriously mentally ill homeless persons. persons experiencing homelessness.
(b)  There is hereby created the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program.
(c)  To the extent possible, the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program shall not conflict with the federal Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, as approved on July 22, 1987, cited as Public Law 100-77, as it is, from time to time, amended, and regulations promulgated thereunder by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, or its successor.

SEC. 2.

 Section 50801.5 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

50801.5.
 (a)  The department shall adopt regulations for the administration of the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program. The regulations shall govern the equitable distribution of funds in accordance with the intent and provisions of this chapter, chapter and shall ensure that the program is administered in an effective and efficient manner. The regulations shall provide for reasonable delegation of authority to designated local boards, ensure that local priorities and criteria are reasonably designed to address the needs of homeless people, persons experiencing homelessness, and ensure that designated local boards meet reasonable standards of equity, inclusiveness, accountability, nondiscrimination, and integrity.
(b)  The regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall ensure that emergency shelter and services will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis for whatever time periods are established by the shelter. No An individual or household may shall not be denied shelter or services because of an inability to pay. Nothing in this provision shall be construed to preclude a shelter from accepting payment vouchers provided through any other public or private program so long as no shelter beds are reserved beyond sundown for that purpose. Notwithstanding Section 11135 of the Government Code or any other provision of law, nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude a provider of emergency shelter or transitional housing from restricting occupancy on the basis of any of the following:
(1)  Sex.
(2)  In the case of an emergency shelter or transitional housing offered exclusively to persons 24 years of age or younger pursuant to Section 11139.3 of the Government Code, on the basis of age.
(3)  Military veteran status, if the veterans served possess significant barriers to social reintegration and employment due to a physical or mental disability, substance abuse, or the effects of long-term homelessness that require specialized treatment and services and the provider of emergency shelter or transitional housing also provides the specialized treatment and services.
However, in the case of families, providers of emergency shelter or transitional housing shall provide, to the greatest extent feasible, adequate facilities within their range of services so that all members of a family may be housed together, regardless of age and gender.