Yolo Supervisor Testifies on “No Place Like Home” Proposal
February 26, 2016
The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee held an informational hearing titled “Challenges and Opportunities: Homelessness in California’s Local Communities” yesterday, hearing testimony from a variety of state and national experts on the issue, including Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas and “No Place Like Home” sponsor, former Senator Darrell Steinberg.
Supervisor Villegas testified on the myriad ways in which counties are involved on the homelessness issue: poverty programs such as CalWORKs and Medi-Cal, mental health and substance use disorder programs, public safety impacts, and issues surrounding housing and the siting of transitional and permanent affordable or subsidized housing,
He went on to highlight homeless initiatives in Los Angeles and Placer Counties and presented the lessons learned by Yolo County during their innovative Bridge to Housing project, which is an innovative collaboration with the City of West Sacramento to repurpose existing motel space into permanent supportive housing.
Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and former Senator Steinberg each also spoke in support of the Senate’s “No Place Like Home” proposal, which would redirect a portion of Mental Health Services Act (MHSA, or Proposition 63) funding from counties to help securitize up to $2 billion in housing bonds. Under the proposal, cities and counties would compete with each other for the housing bond funds. The proposal also urges an increase in the state’s Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) rates, which provide monthly funding to those who are aged, blind, or disabled. Further, the proposal affirms support for the existing Housing Support Program, which is administered by counties within the CalWORKs program, and a new “Bringing Families Home” program to provide family housing.
CSAC has not yet developed a position on the “No Place Like Home” proposal, as details beyond what is presented above are not yet available. Homelessness has become a top issue within the Capitol, counties, and with our cities. CSAC will present a CSAC Institute Emerging Issues course on homelessness issues on April 14, and a homeless issue workshop during the 2016 CSAC Legislative Conference. Details will be provided as they become available.