Bills Aiding Homeless Sent to Governor

State PicturenewsletterA pair of bills that would provide new services and protections for homeless people have been approved by both houses of the state Legislature and are on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk awaiting his signature or veto. AB 1733, introduced by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego; Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, R-San Diego; and Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva, D- Fullerton; would establish a fee waiver for homeless people who need to obtain a certified copy of their birth record from the Department of Public Health or a state identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The bill solves a dilemma for many homeless people who need identification to access certain government programs, including those that provide housing, employment and nutrition.

AB 1806, introduced by Assembly Member Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, would extend rights afforded to students in foster care to students experiencing homelessness, as well. Many homeless students were at some point in their past part of the state’s foster care system, and the two cohorts face similar challenges and have similar emotional and legal needs.

State Update: Governor Approves AB639 and Other Homelessness Bills

 

During this legislative session, Governor Brown had until October 13th to sign or veto California Assembly and Senate bills. During the past few months, we have been tracking multiple bills related to homelessness, and the ones that went before the Governor have all been approved! Here is a review of and update on these key legislative measures:

  • Assembly Bill 639 (Perez), the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Act, has been signed by the Governor and chaptered by the Secretary of State. This measure will require a public vote in June 2014 to repurpose $600 million from Proposition 12 bonds to create and preserve multifamily affordable and supportive housing for veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
  • Assembly Bill 361 (Mitchell), the Health Home Bill, has been signed by the Governor and chaptered by the Secretary of State. This measure will fund services in supportive housing through the Affordable Care Act.
  • Senate Bill 347 (Beall) has been signed by the Governor and chaptered by the Secretary of State. This measure will protect youth shelter funding.

State Update: Housing and Homelessness Bills Head to the Governor

Multiple bills related to affordable housing and homelessness have been passed out of the State Legislature to Governor Brown, who has until October 13 to either sign or veto them. Here is a rundown of the key bills we have been following:

  •  Assembly Bill 639 (Perez), the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Act, has been sent to the Governor. This bill would require a public vote in order to repurpose $600 million Proposition 12 funds to create multifamily affordable and supportive housing for veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
  •  Assembly Bill 361 (Mitchell), the Health Home Bill, which would fund services in supportive housing through the Affordable Care Act, is heading to the Governor.
  • Senate Bill 347 (Beall), which would protect youth shelter funding, has passed the Legislature and is awaiting consideration by the Governor.
  • Senate Bill 391 (DeSaulnier), the passage of the California Homes and Jobs Act, which would support affordable housing for people experiencing homelessness, has unfortunately been delayed until 2014. We will report on the progress of this legislation next year.

Federal Update: HUD Publishes Notice on the Violence Against Women Act

HUD has published a notice regarding the applicability to HUD programs of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), which renewed 1994 legislation to protect survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Among many changes, the bill increases new housing protections, expands the domestic violence definition, and requires agency compliance on a number of items to improve practices. HUD is seeking comments on developing additional guidance and regulations, which are due October 7, 2013.

State Update: Multiple Housing and Homelessness Bills Currently Under Consideration

The State Assembly returned to Sacramento on August 5th after a month-long summer recess, and is currently considering multiple bills related to affordable housing and homelessness.  The Assembly must pass all bills by September 13th in order to for the Governor to consider them this fall.  Key bills currently on the Assembly floor include:

  • Senate Bill 391 (DeSaulnier), The California Homes and Jobs Act , which would create funding for affordable housing for families, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness;
  • Assembly Bill 639 (Perez), the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Act, which would allow the restructuring of $600 million of existing Proposition 12 funds to create “multifamily affordable and supportive housing for veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness;”
  • Assembly Bill 361 (Mitchell), the Health Home Bill, which would fund services in supportive housing through a national Health Reform option, financing specific services to people experiencing chronic homelessness as well as frequent hospital users; and
  • Senate Bill 347 (Beall), which would increase youth shelter funding by authorizing a county to “use any unexpended funds awarded to a shelter for abused and neglected children for the purpose of acquiring, renovating, constructing, or purchasing equipment for a shelter for runaway or homeless youth.”

We will provide a status update on these bills after the September 13th deadline.