CSAC Bulletin Article

CSAC Advocates for Funding to Reduce Homelessness

March 28, 2019

Addressing homelessness is a complex challenge and continues to be a top legislative and budget priority for CSAC. Recently, 75 representatives from 15 different counties convened in Monterey County to discuss realities of addressing homelessness and housing during the CSAC Central Coast & Central Valley Regional meeting. Among the topics discussed, was the pending influx of housing and homelessness funding opportunities from Propositions 1 and 2

In addition to those resources, the Governor’s 2019-20 Budget proposes $500 million in one-time funding to reduce homelessness. Of the $500 million, $300 million is proposed for planning grants to expand or develop shelters and navigation centers and $200 million is proposed for distribution to local jurisdictions based on meeting measurable goals identified in applicants’ regional plans. This proposal is evolving and CSAC supports increasing state funding beyond the level proposed in the Governor’s Budget.

CSAC is also actively advocating for increased flexibility in the local administration and expenditure of these funds. The Governor proposes to allocate a portion of the planning grants to cities ($100 million) and a portion to regional Continuums of Care ($200 million). CSAC recently joined with the Urban Counties of California and the Rural County Representatives of California to author a letter to the Governor which requests flexibility for local jurisdictions to decide whether to coordinate these funds through the Continuum of Care funding model or other county-led models—whichever is best to address the circumstances in each jurisdiction.

CSAC is also focused on the importance of a final funding package including flexibility to implement a wide array of strategies and services to address homelessness. Counties have been clear that short-term shelters and navigation centers are critical. However, without properly linking to county-run support services and other long-term strategies like rental assistance programs, a “bottle-neck” can develop at the local level. Therefore, CSAC is advocating for local jurisdictions to have maximum flexibility in spending funds for locally-developed strategies to facilitate movement throughout the continuum to meaningfully reduce chronic homelessness.

CSAC continues to work with the Administration and the Legislature to formulate a homelessness funding plan for the final 2019-20 Budget that reflects the needs and priorities of each uniquely positioned jurisdiction.

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