Governor Signs Budget and Strikes Deal on Homelessness Funding With Legislature
June 28, 2019
With hours remaining before the deadline, Governor Newsom signed California’s state budget and came to an agreement on housing element policy and how to allocate $650 million for homelessness. CSAC responded to the final SB 102 trailer bill on homelessness and housing with the following statement:
“California’s counties are the front line providers in our communities. Homelessness knows no boundaries and progress can only occur through collaboration. Counties are appreciative of the direct funding provided in the budget as it will be critical to addressing homelessness. On housing, we find the new penalties on local governments already struggling to add housing and address homelessness concerning. Nonetheless, California’s 58 counties stand ready and committed to meet this challenge.”
Specifically, the trailer bill includes components that address county priorities and advocacy related to homelessness funding and Continuum of Care operations. The bill creates the Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention Program to support regional coordination and expand or develop local capacity to address their immediate homelessness challenges informed by a best-practices framework focused on moving homeless individuals and families into permanent housing and supporting the efforts of those individuals and families to maintain their permanent housing.
The bill calls for the following allocation of funds included in the 2019-20 Budget:
- $190 million to continuums of care (40 percent cap and $500,000 minimum)
- $275 million to cities with a population greater than 300,000 (45 percent cap)
- $175 million to counties (40 percent cap)
It’s important to note that direct funding to counties was not included in the January budget is the result of CSAC advocacy efforts, which were successful in securing this allocation.
The final trailer bill includes new provisions and remedies related to the enforcement of housing element law. Specifically, the bill requires the Attorney General, prior to bringing a suit to enforce compliance with the housing element requirement for a jurisdiction to zone for sites adequate to accommodate its allocation of regional housing needs, to provide a city or county with written findings regarding the violation and an offer of two meetings to discuss the violation.
If a court finds that a jurisdiction is out of compliance with this housing requirement, it can, after one year, impose fines ranging from $10,000-$100,000 per month. If a jurisdiction continues to fail to have a compliant housing element, this fines can be increased by a factor of 3 or 6 after specified timelines. If a jurisdiction fails to pay these fines, the State Controller may intercept state and local funds otherwise due to the local agency that are not constitutionally-protected.
This trailer bill will be taken up by the Legislature with several other remaining trailer bills next week.