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AB-977 Homelessness program data reporting: Homeless Management Information System.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 07/12/21 - Amended Senate Compare Versions information image


AB977:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 12, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  June 15, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 19, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 977


Introduced by Assembly Members Gabriel and Petrie-Norris
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bauer-Kahan, Fong, McCarty, Nazarian, Quirk-Silva, Robert Rivas, Blanca Rubio, Villapudua, Voepel, and Waldron)

February 18, 2021


An act to amend Sections 8256 and 8257 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to homelessness.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 977, as amended, Gabriel. Homelessness program data reporting: Homeless Management Information System.
(1) Existing law establishes the Multifamily Housing Program administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Existing law requires assistance for projects under the program to be provided in the form of deferred payment loans to pay for eligible costs of the development, as provided. Existing law also requires that funds appropriated in the 2020 Budget Act or an act related to the 2020 Budget Act, including moneys received from the Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, 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, be disbursed in accordance with the Multifamily Housing Program for specified uses, and provides that the above-described deferred payment loan requirement under the program does not apply to assistance provided pursuant to these provisions, as specified.
Existing law, the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Act of 2014, requires the California Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish and implement programs that focus on veterans at risk for homelessness or experiencing temporary or chronic homelessness, as specified. In this regard, existing law requires those departments to establish and implement programs that, among other things, prioritize projects that combine housing and supportive services.
Existing law, the No Place Like Home Program, as ratified and amended by Proposition 2, which was approved by the voters at the November 6, 2018, statewide general election, provides funding to provide permanent supportive housing for the target population, which is defined to include individuals who have a serious mental disorder and who are homeless, chronically homeless, or at risk of chronic homelessness. Existing law authorizes the Legislature to amend Proposition 2 by a 2/3 vote, so long as the amendment is consistent with and furthers the intent of that measure.
This bill would require, on or before January 1, 2023, that a grantee or entity operating specified state homelessness programs, including the No Place Like Home Program, as a condition of receiving state funds, to enter the collected data elements on the individuals and families it serves into its local Homeless Management Information System, unless otherwise exempted by state or federal law. The bill would require the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to specify the format and disclosure frequency of the required data elements. The bill would apply the data entry requirements to all new state homelessness programs that commence on or after July 1, 2021. The bill would require the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to provide technical assistance to any grantee or entity that operates a program subject to the bill, if the grantee or entity does not already collect and enter into the local Homeless Management Information System the data elements required. The bill would require the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to provide the aggregate data summaries collected under these provisions to specified state agencies or departments within 45 days of receipt, as specified.
Existing law creates the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council and requires it, among other things, 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.
This bill would specify that the statewide data storage system described above be known as the Homeless Data Integration System and would grant staff of the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council specified powers in regard to its operation. The bill would require that a continuum of care, as defined in federal law, provide collected data elements, including health information, as specified, to the Homeless Data Integration System, and would except health information and personal identifying information from disclosure to the public.
By imposing new duties on local entities to provide information to the state, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law authorizes the Legislature to amend Proposition 2 by a 2/3 vote, so long as the amendment is consistent with and furthers the intent of that measure.
The bill would state the findings of the Legislature that these provisions are consistent with, and further the intent of, the No Place Like Home Act.
(3) Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 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, 2022.
(2)  Until July 1, 2022, an agency or department that administers programs that fund recovery housing shall additionally do all of the following:
(A) In coordination with the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, consult with the Legislature, the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other stakeholders between July 1, 2020, and January 1, 2022, 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) Comply with the core components of Housing First, other than those components described in paragraphs (5) to (7), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 8255.
(C) Ensure that recovery housing programs meet the following requirements:
(i) A recovery housing program participant shall sign an agreement upon entry that outlines the roles and responsibilities of both the participant and the program administrator to ensure individuals are aware of actions that could result in removal from the recovery housing program.
(ii) If a recovery housing program participant chooses to stop living in a housing setting with an abstinence focus, is discharged from the program, or is evicted from housing, the program administrator shall offer assistance in accessing other housing and services options, including options operated with harm-reduction principles. To the extent practicable, this assistance shall include connecting the individual with alternative housing providers, supportive services, and the local coordinated entry system, if applicable. This clause does not apply to an individual who leaves the program without notifying the program administrator.
(iii) The recovery housing program administrator shall track and report annually to the program’s state funding source the housing outcome for each program participant who is discharged.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, “recovery housing” means sober living facilities and programs that provide housing in an abstinence-focused and peer-supported community for people recovering from substance use issues. 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 or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(d) (1) On or before January 1, 2023, a grantee or entity operating the following state homelessness programs, as a condition of receiving state funds, shall enter any collected data elements on the individuals and families it serves into its local Homeless Management Information System, unless otherwise exempted by state or federal law:
(A) The program referred to as Homekey, as described in Section 50675.1.1 of the Health and Safety Code.
(B) The Housing for a Healthy California Program established pursuant to Part 14.2 (commencing with Section 53590) of Division 31 of the Health and Safety Code.
(C) The No Place Like Home Program established pursuant to Part 3.9 (commencing with Section 5849.1) of Division 5.
(D) The Multifamily Housing Program (Chapter 6.7 (commencing with Section 50675) of Part 2 of Division 31 of the Health and Safety Code).
(E) The Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Act of 2014, as established by Article 3.2 (commencing with Section 987.001) of Chapter 6 of Division 4 of the Military and Veterans Code.
(F) The Bringing Families Home Program, as established by Article 6 (commencing with Section 16523) of Chapter 5 of Part 4 of Division 9.
(G) The CalWORKs Housing Support Program, as established by Article 3.3 (commencing with Section 11330) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.
(H) The Housing and Disability Income Advocacy Program, as established by Chapter 17 (commencing with Section 18999) of Part 6 of Division 9.
(I) The Community Colleges Homeless and Housing Insecure Pilot Project, as established by funds appropriated by the Budget Act of 2019.
(J) The Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention Program established in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 50216) of Part 1 of Division 31 of the Health and Safety Code.
(2) Council staff, in consultation with respective administering state agencies or departments, shall specify the entry format and disclosure frequency for the programs subject to this subdivision to submit the data elements as specified in paragraph (1) to inform and meet the council’s statewide objectives and goals described in Section 8257.
(3) The requirements of paragraph (1) shall additionally apply to all new state homelessness programs that commence on or after July 1, 2021.
(4) For purposes of this subdivision, state homelessness programs are defined as those programs that are funded, in whole or in part, by the state with the express purpose of addressing or preventing homelessness or providing services to people experiencing homelessness. This definition shall be broadly construed for the purpose of carrying out the requirements of this subdivision.
(5) Any grantee or entity operating a program described in paragraphs (1) and (3) that does not already collect and enter into the local Homeless Management Information System the data elements required under this subdivision shall, upon request, receive technical assistance from council staff and, as available, guidance from federal partners in coordination or partnership with the respective administering state agency or department.
(6) Commencing January 1, 2022, council staff shall provide aggregate data summaries collected in full pursuant to this subdivision to the respective administering state agencies or departments that oversee relevant programs within 45 days of receipt. Where feasible, council staff shall notify the respective administering state agencies or departments at least seven days before sharing, publicly using, or referencing the data, including, but not limited to, using the data for any substantive analysis, summary statistics, or other findings.
(7) Administering state agencies or departments shall shall, upon request, be granted an extension to meet the requirements in this subdivision, provided noncompliant programs are making good faith progress towards meeting the requirements. An extension granted under this paragraph shall not extend beyond July 1, 2023. For purposes of this paragraph, “making good faith progress” includes, but is not limited to, engaging in technical assistance offered under paragraph (5) and establishing a plan to comply with this subdivision.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8257 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

8257.
 (a) The Governor shall create a Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council.
(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, which shall be known as the Homeless Data Integration System, 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 the Medi-Cal program (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). Upon creation of the Homeless Data Integration System, all continuums of care, as defined in Section 578.3 of Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations, that are operating in California shall provide collected data elements, including, but not limited to, health information, in a manner consistent with federal law, to the Homeless Data Integration System.
(A) Council staff shall specify the form and substance of the required data elements.
(B) Council staff may, as required by operational necessity, amend or modify data elements, disclosure formats, or disclosure frequency.
(C) To further the efforts to improve the public health, safety, and welfare of people experiencing homelessness in the state, council staff may collect data from the continuums of care as provided in this paragraph.
(D) Any health information or personal identifying information provided to, or maintained within, the Homeless Data Integration System shall not be subject to public inspection or disclosure under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).
(E) For purposes of this paragraph, “health information” includes “protected health information,” as defined in Part 160.103 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and “medical information,” as defined in subdivision (j) of Section 56.05 of the Civil Code.
(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.
(19) To collect, compile, and make available to the public financial data provided to the council from all state-funded homelessness programs.
(c) (1) The Governor shall appoint up to 19 members of the council as follows:
(A) The Secretary of Business, Consumer Services, and Housing, 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 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. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that the amendments to the No Place Like Home Program (Part 3.9 (commencing with Section 5849.1) of Division 5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code) made by this act are consistent with and further the intent of Proposition 2, as approved by the voters at the November 6, 2018, statewide general election within the meaning of Section 7 of Proposition 2.

SEC. 4.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 2 of this act, which amends Section 8257 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
This act furthers the purposes of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution by balancing the public right to access public records with this need to protect the confidentiality of personal information of persons receiving public assistance.

SEC. 5.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.