Gov. Brown signs bills to fast-track housing for homeless, add programs for homeless youth

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Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill that will streamline the approval of certain affordable housing projects with units for the homeless.

Gov. Jerry Brown

The California Apartment Association supported the bill, AB 2162 by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and coauthored by Assemblyman Tom Daly, D-Anaheim. The legislation will expedite the approval of affordable housing developments with a certain percentage of “supportive housing.”

Assemlyman David Chiu

Supportive housing means housing with no limit on length of stay, that is occupied by persons with low incomes who have one or more disabilities, including mental illness, HIV or AIDS, substance abuse, or other chronic health condition.

California is home to 25 percent of the nation’s homeless population and 42 percent of the nation’s chronically homeless, according to a bill analysis.

“CAA believes that this housing is imperative to address people in need in California,” the association wrote in a letter urging Brown to sign the bill.

Assemblyman Tom Daly

The governor also signed SB 918 by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco. This bill establishes the Homeless Youth Act of 2018 to better serve the state’s homeless youth population and requires the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to take on additional related responsibilities, including the creation and administration of grant programs to house and serve California’s homeless youth and the collection of and reporting of pertinent data, among other duties.

In a letter urging the governor to sign SB 918, CAA wrote: “As you know, California has the highest number of unaccompanied youth who are
experiencing homelessness in the country and the second highest number of youth who are unsheltered. Unfortunately, California lacks a clear strategy to prevent and end homelessness among young people. Solving youth homelessness is a critical part of ending California’s homelessness crisis.”

Sen. Scott Wiener

Assemblyman Brian Maienschein

Awaiting the governor’s signature is AB 1921 by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, R-San Diego. It would provide more assistance for families with children under the State’s CalWORKS Housing Assistance Program. The program provides assistance to families with children who have little or no money and who need housing, food, utilities, clothing or medical care.Other proposals on Brown’s desk that would help address homelessness include SB 918 by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and AB 1921 by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, R-San Diego.

 

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