A 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.
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.
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.