Homelessness Provisions Approved by Legislature
July 15, 2021
The Legislature passed the housing trailer bill AB 140 (Committee on Budget) prior to adjourning for summer recess this week. The trailer bill consists of a number of negotiated homelessness provisions which included a historic investment of $2 billion in flexible homelessness funding for local governments over the next two years.
Flexible homelessness funding has been and continues to be, a top CSAC budget priority. These investments demonstrate the state and local partnership needed to combat homelessness throughout California and provide counties with additional tools to develop and expand locally driven programs and services for the homeless and those at-risk of homelessness population. CSAC, the Urban Counties of California, and the Rural County Representatives of California submitted a letter of support as the trailer bill heads to the Governor’s desk. The items below represent the key homelessness provisions from the trailer bill.
Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention Grant Program
The trailer bill expands on the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) Grant Program created through trailer bill AB 101 in fiscal year 2019-20. The $2 billion in funding for FY 2021-22 and 2022-23 will be used for rounds three and four of HHAP. Allocations for each round will use the same formula as prior HHAP rounds which relies on a county’s proportionate share of the total homeless population of the region serviced by the continuum of care (CoC) within which the county is located. Population will be based on the 2019 homeless point-in-time count for round three and the most recent homeless point-in-time count for round four. The bill specifically provides:
- $224 million to counties (40 percent cap for any single county)
- $240 million to CoCs (40 percent cap for any CoC)
- $336 million to large cities with populations over 300,000 (45 percent cap for any single city)
- $180 million for bonus funds available to cities, counties and CoCs
In addition to the four designated funding pots the measure describes the parameters for applicants to apply for grants, the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council’s (HCFC) approval process, and reporting requirements. The statutory language passed by the Legislatures also reflects discussions related to prioritizing outcome goals and accountability measures. Each applicant will be required to provide outcome goals in consultation with HCFC. AB 140 provides the framework for the creation of the outcome goals and their evaluation. The $180 million for bonus funds are available for grant recipients who meet those goals. More program details and guidelines will be issued by HCFC.
The trailer bill also includes statutory changes to facilitate the additional round of Project Homekey funds included in the final 2021-22 Budget. As a reminder, a total of $1.45 billion was included for additional Project Homekey applications and further details on the application process will emerge in the coming weeks. The statutory framework is consistent with the Governor’s proposal that has been highlighted in previous CSAC communication.
Encampment Resolution Funding Program
The Encampment Resolution Funding program created in the trailer bill is a competitive grant program for cities, counties and CoCs to support encampment resolution and the transition of individuals into housing. Prioritization for funding will be given to applicants with encampments of 50 or more individuals, the ability to show cross-system collaboration and innovation, and issued to a diverse set of communities including rural, suburban and urban. An application with program guidelines will be available no later than October 31, 2021.
The Family Homeless Challenge Grants and Technical Assistance Program
The trailer bill outlines the framework for the $40 million in one-time funding for the Family Homeless Challenge Grants and Technical Assistance Program. The program is created to fund city, county and CoC efforts to accelerate, expand and develop solutions that target ending family homelessness. Seventy-five percent of the funding ($30 million) will be distributed in two rounds of grants to local governments, another 20 percent ($8 million) will be set aside for local government technical assistance. An application with program guidelines will be available no later than March 1, 2022.