Governor’s Revised Homelessness Proposal Recognizes Important Role of Counties
May 16, 2019
Governor Newsom recently released his 2019-20 May Revision budget proposal. Included in the May Revision are significant changes to the January budget proposal for the Homeless Aid for Planning and Shelter Program. CSAC previously discussed the January proposal and advocacy surrounding that proposal in a March 28, 2019 bulletin article which centered on the need for flexibility in the use of funds and flexibility in funds being coordinated through Continuums of Care or direct, county-led models.
The Governor’s May Revision includes an increased investment in the program and the increased flexibility local communities need to be successful. Specifically, the revised proposal now includes:
- An increase from $500 million to $650 million;
- $275 million set-aside to be allocated directly to counties;
- Flexibility in allocating funds up-front in lieu of back-end milestone achievement funding; and
- Flexibility via expanding the eligible uses of funds beyond just shelters and navigation centers. Eligible uses now include, but are not limited to, hotel/motel conversions, traditional and non-traditional permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing, and jobs programs.
In response to the Governor’s May Revision, CSAC again joined with the Urban Counties of California and the Rural County Representatives of California to author a letter—this time to express full support for the May Revision homelessness budget proposal. Attention will now shift to collaborating with legislative staff and members as the Senate and Assembly budget subcommittees have both adopted alternative homelessness proposals to identify their respective priorities and collect stakeholder feedback.
A significant component of this collaboration will include explaining the value of allocating a portion of the funding to counties. Counties serve in a regional role and specialize in bringing multiple government jurisdictions together with community-based organizations to implement programs that have a lasting impact. Funding counties directly is an investment in system-level, collaborative approaches that meaningfully address the homelessness crisis in our communities—not just an investment in siloed county projects.
Additional information on the Governor’s homelessness proposal, and other May Revision budget proposals, can be found in CSAC’s latest Budget Action Bulletin.