CSAC Bulletin Article

Homelessness Policy Updates

February 16, 2023

The homelessness policy debate is heating up with a flurry of hearings, legislation, and advocacy opportunities occurring in the last two weeks. Rest assured that your input is helping create progress, and we have much to look forward to as the year unfolds.

Legislative Hearings

The Legislature is approaching the homelessness crisis with several informational hearings to explore the topic. These include a February 6 Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee hearing, a February 15 joint hearing of the Assembly Committees on Housing and Community Development, Accountability and Administrative Review, Health, and Human Services, and an upcoming February 22 Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 6. on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation. Resources presented at these hearings include the Cal ICH Statewide Homelessness Assessment and Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) handouts on Housing and Homelessness Challenges and Housing and Homelessness Augmentations and Oversight. At each of these hearings, CSAC is providing public comments to highlight the need to develop a comprehensive homelessness system that includes defined roles, accountability, and sustainable funding.


On February 14, Assembly Member Luz Rivas and a number of coauthors introduced AB 799 (Homelessness Accountability and Results Act). CSAC CEO Graham Knaus was quoted in this Capitol Public Radio interview regarding the bill. As introduced, AB 799 would aim to create an ongoing state-funded program to meet identified goals for the existing Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) program. The bill would modify some of the HHAP allocations to emphasize performance and collaboration. For accountability, it would require participating entities to set specific outcomes goals with the potential for corrective action plans and reallocation of funding for entities not achieving half of their goals.

Following up on the Governor’s January budget proposal related to homelessness accountability, the Department of Finance recently released trailer bill language on Round 5 of HHAP funding. Significant changes from the current HHAP funding include required collaboration and joint applications, stating intent to tie homelessness funding with the submission of a compliant housing element, and limiting the flexibility of spending by creating two tiers of eligible spending categories. CSAC is engaging with the Newsom Administration, legislative leaders, and bill authors on these proposals and to advocate for a comprehensive system with clear responsibilities for all levels of government. 

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