CSAC Bulletin Article

Governor Announces $150 Million in Emergency COVID-19 Homelessness Funding

March 19, 2020

The Governor announced that he would be using the first $150 million of the up to $1 billion provided by the Legislature’s emergency COVID-19 funding bill for homelessness-related efforts. CSAC worked closely with the Administration regarding this significant infusion of funding for counties to address homelessness and wishes to thank Governor Newsom and his team for prioritizing homelessness during this crisis and ensuring that resources are rapidly available to all counties.

Below are details about how the $150 million will be used and allocated.

  • $100 million will be provided to cities, counties, and continuums of care through the HHAP funding allocation formula and made available immediately
  • Entities that received funding through HHAP will receive the same percent share of the $100 million as they received of the $650 million
  • The Governor issued Executive Order N-32-20 that broadens the eligible uses of both HHAP and HEAP funding
  • All three of these funding sources can now be utilized for a broad set of local purposes to respond to COVID-19 homelessness needs
  • Executive Order N-32-20 also provides a CEQA exemption for any new shelter facilities that are sited with this funding
  • $50 million will be utilized by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to support local work on isolation capacity for homeless individuals in hotels, motels, and trailers
  • The $50 million can be spent by CDSS on behalf of local jurisdictions
  • A list of 950 potential hotel and motel options was disseminated to counties via email
  • Some counties are using this information to facilitate their own lease agreements
  • CDSS can support local efforts if needed to facilitate lease agreements

The Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency distributed interim guidance to homeless service providers with a focus on public health around shelters specifically, including prevention efforts and in-depth isolation needs for shelter populations. Any person residing in a shelter who exhibits symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19 must be isolated according to the guidance. The COVID-19 homelessness funding can be used to help shelter operators follow these guidelines.

The state will be purchasing 1,309 travel trailers to help with homeless isolation efforts. The trailers will be distributed to counties that include the Big 13 cities and deployed proportional to the PIT count of those cities with the expectation that counties and cities will work together to prioritize which individuals to place in the trailers.

Each trailer will be shipped to the county and set up, and will include a “move-in” basket of essentials. It will be the responsibility of local jurisdictions to site the trailers, place individuals in the trailers, and provide wraparound services. For counties without a Big 13 city, some of the $50 million described above may be used to purchase additional trailers.

CSAC will continue to work with the Administration as funding and resources are distributed to counties.

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