Governor Approved Several Legislative Bills Concerning Homelessness During the 2022 Legislative Session: What’s in the Legislation?
The last day for each house to pass bills was August 31. The last day the Governor could approve legislation was September 30. The Legislature is scheduled to reconvene in regular session on December 5 to immediately organize to further the 2023 legislative session.
Regarding homelessness, some of the approved 2022 legislation requires:
- “cities, counties, and continuums of care receiving state funding to address homelessness” to include families, people fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence and unaccompanied women “within the vulnerable populations for whom specific system supports are developed to maintain homeless services and housing delivery” on or after January 1, 2024 in SB 914.
- Authorization of various tax credits “to a qualified taxpayer that employs an individual who is or recently was homeless, and who meets other specified requirements, as certified by a continuum of care or a community-based service provider, as provided” in AB 194.
- “Property used exclusively for an emergency or temporary shelter and related facilities for homeless persons and families and owned and operated by religious, hospital, scientific, or charitable funds, foundations, limited liability companies, or corporations meeting all of the requirements of this section shall be deemed to be within the exemption” in AB 1206.
- “prohibit specified provisions of the California Building Standards Code from causing a motel or hotel to be designated as nontransient solely as a result of a shelter program participant’s occupancy in the motel or hotel beyond a 30-day period, or from being interpreted to restrict the duration of occupancy for shelter program participants” in AB 1991.
- revising the “requirements of the housing element in connection with zoning designations that allow residential use, including mixed use, where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit” in AB 2339.
- funding projects from prior Encampment Resolution Funding program “funding rounds that the (Cal ICH) determined satisfied applicable program requirements but were not funded in the prior round, and to fund new program grants on a rolling basis” in SB 197.
- California Rehabilitation Oversight Board “to examine the department’s efforts to address the housing needs of incarcerated persons, including those who are identified as having serious mental health needs” in SB 903.
- Development of “policies and practices to support homeless children and youths and to ensure that child abuse and neglect reporting requirements do not create barriers to the school enrollment and attendance of homeless children or youths” in AB 181.
- State Department of Health Care Services to develop “an allocation to provide financial assistance to counties” to “enact the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act, which would authorize specified adult persons to petition a civil court to create a voluntary CARE agreement or a court-ordered CARE plan and implement services, to be provided by county behavioral health agencies, to provide behavioral health care, including stabilization medication, housing, and other enumerated services to adults who are currently experiencing a severe mental illness and have a diagnosis identified in the disorder class schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, and who meet other specified criteria” in SB 1338.
Approved Legislative Bills
Note: Click on the title of each bill to read its entire contents.
It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that all pupils in foster care and those who are homeless, as defined by the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.), have a meaningful opportunity to meet the challenging state pupil academic achievement standards to which all pupils are held.
The department and the State Department of Social Services shall identify representatives from the department, the State Department of Social Services, and other state agencies that have experience in homeless youth issues to develop policies and practices to support homeless children and youths and to ensure that child abuse and neglect reporting requirements do not create barriers to the school enrollment and attendance of homeless children or youths, including, but not limited to, ensuring that a pupil who is a homeless child or youth is not reported to law enforcement by school personnel if the sole reason for the report is the pupil’s homelessness.
The Personal Income Tax Law and the Corporation Tax Law authorize various credits against the taxes imposed by those laws, including a credit against the personal income and corporate income taxes for each taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2022, and before January 1, 2027, in an amount between $2,500 and $10,000, to a qualified taxpayer that employs an individual who is or recently was homeless, and who meets other specified requirements, as certified by a continuum of care or a community-based service provider, as provided. That credit also applies where the employee is receiving supportive services from a homeless services provider.
This bill would expand the credit to include qualified taxpayers that employ a person who has recently received services from a homeless services provider. The bill would also allow a continuum of care or a community-based service provider to issue recertifications, as described.
The person is homeless or has received supportive services from a homeless services provider, as designated by a local continuum of care or a community-based service provider that is connected to the local coordinated entry system or to a local Homeless Management Information System, on the date of the hire or anytime during the 180-day period immediately before the hire.
A credit shall not be allowed under this section unless the eligible employer submits to the Franchise Tax Board, upon request, a certification issued by a continuum of care, or a community-based service provider that is connected to the local coordinated entry system or to a local Homeless Management Information System, or other program as specified by the Franchise Tax Board.
Grants to programs for outreach, education, and treatment for homeless youth and out-of-school youth with substance use disorders.
The department shall adopt rules and regulations on eligibility, enrollment, and priority of services needed to implement this chapter. In order to be eligible for federal and state subsidized child development services, families shall meet at least one requirement in each of the following areas:
(A) A family is (i) a current aid recipient, (ii) income eligible, (iii) homeless, or (iv) one whose children are recipients of protective services, or whose children have been identified as being abused, neglected, or exploited, or at risk of being abused, neglected, or exploited.
(B) A family needs the child care services (i) because the child is identified by a legal, medical, or social services agency, a local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths designated pursuant to Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of the United States Code, a Head Start program, or an emergency or transitional shelter as (I) a recipient of protective services, (II) being neglected, abused, or exploited, or at risk of neglect, abuse, or exploitation, or (III) being homeless or (ii) because the parents are (I) engaged in vocational training leading directly to a recognized trade, paraprofession, or profession, (II) engaged in an educational program for English language learners or to attain a high school diploma or general educational development certificate, (III) employed or seeking employment, (IV) seeking permanent housing for family stability, or (V) incapacitated.
This bill would require a local educational agency, as defined to include a school district, county office of education, charter school, or special education local plan area, to establish homeless education program policies that are consistent with specified state laws and use the above-described resources developed and posted on the department’s internet website and resources developed by homeless education technical assistance centers established using certain federal funds.
Property used exclusively for an emergency or temporary shelter and related facilities for homeless persons and families and owned and operated by religious, hospital, scientific, or charitable funds, foundations, limited liability companies, or corporations meeting all of the requirements of this section shall be deemed to be within the exemption provided for in subdivision (b) of Section 4 and Section 5 of Article XIII of the California Constitution and this section. Property that otherwise would be exempt pursuant to this subdivision, except that it includes housing and related facilities for other than an emergency or temporary shelter, shall be entitled to a partial exemption.
A fee shall not be charged for an original or replacement identification card issued to any person who can verify their status as a homeless person or homeless child or youth. A homeless services provider that has knowledge of the person’s housing status may verify the person’s status for purposes of this subdivision. A determination of eligibility pursuant to this subdivision shall be subject to regulations adopted by the department. A person applying for an identification card under this subdivision shall not be charged a fee for verification of their eligibility.
(2) One hundred ninety-five million dollars ($195,000,000) shall be transferred to the Emergency Housing and Assistance Fund to be expended for the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program authorized by Chapter 11.5 (commencing with Section 50800) of Part 2 and for supportive housing purposes specified in paragraph (3).
(3) One hundred ninety-five million dollars ($195,000,000) shall be transferred to the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Fund to be expended for supportive housing projects under the Multifamily Housing Program authorized by Chapter 6.7 (commencing with Section 50675) of Part 2, to serve individuals and households moving from emergency shelters or transitional housing or those at risk of homelessness.
This bill would provide that the continued occupancy of a shelter program participant, as defined, in a motel or hotel does not constitute a new tenancy and is not considered a “person who hires” for purposes of an unlawful detainer action if the shelter program meets the core components of Housing First, as defined, and specified requirements related to termination policies and grievance processes. The bill would define “shelter program participant” as an occupant of a motel or hotel, as defined, who participates in specified city-, county-, continuum of care-, state-, or federally funded shelter, interim housing, motel voucher, or emergency shelter programs.
Existing law prohibits a person from requiring an occupant of a residential hotel, as defined, to move or check out and reregister before the expiration of 30 days’ occupancy if a purpose is to have that occupant maintain transient occupancy status, as described.
Existing law, the California Building Standards Law, establishes the California Building Standards Commission within the Department of General Services and requires the commission to approve and adopt building standards and to codify those standards in the California Building Standards Code.
This bill would prohibit specified provisions of the California Building Standards Code from causing a motel or hotel to be designated as nontransient solely as a result of a shelter program participant’s occupancy in the motel or hotel beyond a 30-day period, or from being interpreted to restrict the duration of occupancy for shelter program participants.
This bill would prohibit a hotel or motel from adopting termination policies, restricting access rights, or imposing charges or fees specifically for shelter program participants that do not apply to other occupants, and would also prohibit a motel or hotel from requiring those shelter program participants to check out and reregister, move out of rooms or between rooms, or from the hotel or motel while actively enrolled in the shelter for purposes of preventing occupants from establishing rights of tenancy.
The bill would require the department to inspect psychiatric residential treatment facilities and would authorize any officer, employee, or agent of the department to enter and inspect the facility at any time to investigate compliance with applicable requirements. The bill would require the department to impose a licensing and application fee to be deposited into the Mental Health Facility Licensing Fund. The bill would require each psychiatric residential treatment facility to provide the department data, as specified.
Community mental health services should be organized to provide an array of treatment options in the following areas, to the extent resources are available: Services for Homeless Persons. Services designed to assist mentally ill persons who are homeless, or at risk of being homeless, to secure housing and financial resources.
This bill would revise the requirements of the housing element, as described above, in connection with zoning designations that allow residential use, including mixed use, where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit. The bill would delete language regarding emergency shelter standards structured in relation to residential and commercial developments and instead require that emergency shelters only be subject to specified written, objective standards. The bill would specify that emergency shelters for purposes of these provisions include other interim intervention, including, but not limited to, navigation centers, bridge housing, and respite or recuperative care.
The bill would require that identified zoning designations where emergency shelters are allowed to include sites that meet at least one of certain prescribed standards. In this regard, the bill would require those sites to be either (1) vacant and zoned for residential use; (2) vacant and zoned for nonresidential use if the local government can demonstrate how the sites are located near amenities and services that serve people experiencing homelessness; or (3) nonvacant if the site is suitable for use as a shelter in the current planning period, as specified.
The bill would also authorize a local government to accommodate its need for emergency shelters on sites owned by the local government if it demonstrates that the sites will be made available for emergency shelter during the planning period, they are suitable for residential use, and the sites are located near amenities, as specified. The bill would require the identified zoning designations to include sufficient sites to accommodate the need for shelters, as specified.
The bill would also require that the number of people experiencing homelessness that can be accommodated on each identified site under these provisions be demonstrated by dividing the square footage of the site by a minimum of 200 square feet per person, except as specified.
A local educational agency shall administer a housing questionnaire for purposes of identifying homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths, as those terms are defined in Section 11434a(2) of Title 42 of the United States Code, in accordance with the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11303 et seq.). By the end of the 2021-22 school year, a local educational agency shall ensure that the housing questionnaire is based on best practices developed by the department pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 48852.5. The housing questionnaire shall include an explanation of the rights and protections a pupil has as a homeless child or youth or as an unaccompanied youth. The housing questionnaire shall be available in paper form.
It is the intent of the Legislature to create a workable system of criminal justice data transparency whereby law enforcement prosecution agencies will gather complete, accurate, and timely data in a uniform format, and make that data available to the public in a modern, open, electronic format that is machine-readable and readily accessible through an application program interface. In order that meaningful discussions can occur regarding criminal justice and its most challenging issues, including those regarding criminal caseloads, plea bargaining, race, mass incarceration, equity, and homelessness, the Legislature finds that it is an important state interest to implement a data collection, aggregation, and publishing process for criminal prosecutions to promote criminal justice data transparency. This data would be comprised of publishable statistics and other data from statewide prosecution offices.
This bill would require the department, by December 31, 2023, to award incentives, as specified, to Multifamily Housing Program project applicants that agree to set aside at least 20% of the project’s units, or no more than 50% of the projects units if the project includes more than 100 units, for individuals that are either experiencing homelessness, as defined, or eligible to receive specified services, including, among others, those received under the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. The bill would also require the department to partner with the State Department of Health Care Services to determine the most effective way to align qualifying services in housing projects funded by the Multifamily Housing Program. The bill would require the department to assess tenant outcomes and engage with an evaluator to identify specified information with respect to projects receiving incentives under these provisions, including the number and demographics, including age, race, or ethnicity, and presubsidy housing status, of people being served.
This bill would specifically require each Basic Needs Center to also ensure that students have the information they need to enroll in the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), the Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC), and the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Each Basic Needs Center shall coordinate with their local homelessness response system to refer students to community resources available to address homelessness in addition to services and resources provided by the campus.
Grants to programs for outreach, education, and treatment for homeless youth and out-of-school youth with substance use disorders.
Add at least 600 triage personnel to provide intensive case management and linkage to services for individuals with mental health care disorders at various points of access, such as at designated community-based service points, homeless shelters, and clinics.
Existing law establishes the Encampment Resolution Funding program to assist cities, counties, and continuums of care in ensuring the safety and wellness of people experiencing homelessness in encampments, to provide encampment resolution grants to resolve critical encampment concerns and transition individuals into safe and stable housing, and to encourage a data-informed, coordinated approach to address encampment concerns. Existing law authorizes a continuum of care, city, or county to submit a specified application to the council for a program grant, and requires the council to prioritize funding applicants that demonstrate a commitment to cross-systems collaboration and innovative efforts to resolve encampment issues or have 50 or more individuals living in the encampment.
This bill would specify that the provisions described above apply to funding round 1 moneys, defined to mean moneys appropriated for the program in the 2021–22 fiscal year. The bill would require additional funding round moneys, defined as moneys appropriated for the program in or after the 2021–22 fiscal year, to be used for specified purposes, including to fund projects from prior funding rounds that the council determined satisfied applicable program requirements but were not funded in the prior round, and to fund new program grants on a rolling basis, as specified. The bill would require recipients of additional funding round moneys to obligate and expend funds by certain deadlines, as specified. The bill would also require additional information from grantees in the above-described data elements.
This bill would additionally require the board to examine the department’s efforts to address the housing needs of incarcerated persons, including those who are identified as having serious mental health needs, who are released to the community as parolees and to include specified data on homelessness in its reports.
The reports shall include, but are not limited to, findings on the effectiveness of treatment efforts, rehabilitation needs of incarcerated persons, gaps in rehabilitation services in the department, levels of incarcerated person participation and success in the programs, data indicating the number of parolees who are experiencing homelessness, and the number of those parolees experiencing homelessness who have previously been identified as having serious mental health needs.
This bill would enact the HELP (Homeless Equity for Left Behind Populations) Act. The bill would require cities, counties, and continuums of care receiving state funding to address homelessness, on or after January 1, 2024, to include families, people fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, and unaccompanied women within the vulnerable populations for whom specific system supports are developed to maintain homeless services and housing delivery. The bill would also impose other homelessness planning and data analysis requirements on these cities, counties, and continuums of care. The bill would prohibit victim service providers, as defined, from being required or expected to enter client-level data into specified homeless data systems and would permit any funding provided to cities, counties, and continuums of care, consistent with authorized program uses and limitations, to be used to support the development and the maintenance of comparable databases, as specified. By imposing new duties on local agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would require the California Interagency Council on Homelessness to set and measure progress toward goals to prevent and end homelessness among domestic violence survivors and their children and among unaccompanied women in California, as described. The bill would require initial goals to be established by January 1, 2025, and those goals to be evaluated at least every 2 years to determine whether updated goals are needed. The bill would also make related findings and declarations.
Existing law provides for homeless assistance to a homeless family seeking shelter when the family is eligible for CalWORKs aid, and provides that a family is considered homeless for these purposes when, among other things, the family has received a notice to pay rent or quit. Existing law also makes a family eligible for homeless assistance if homelessness is a direct result of domestic violence by a spouse, partner, or roommate. Existing law authorizes a county to require that a recipient of homeless assistance benefits who qualifies for a 2nd time in a 24-month period participate in a homelessness avoidance case plan as a condition of eligibility for homeless assistance.
This bill would, commencing October 1, 2023, authorize a county to require the participation in a homelessness avoidance case plan only if the county has also provided a housing navigation caseworker who can assist with securing permanent housing and housing case management services. The bill, commencing July 1, 2024, would additionally provide that a family is considered homeless if they receive any notice that could lead to an eviction, and would clarify that roommate, as described above, also includes, but is not limited to, a parent or child with whom they were living.
This bill, contingent upon the State Department of Health Care Services developing an allocation to provide financial assistance to counties, would enact the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act, which would authorize specified adult persons to petition a civil court to create a voluntary CARE agreement or a court-ordered CARE plan and implement services, to be provided by county behavioral health agencies, to provide behavioral health care, including stabilization medication, housing, and other enumerated services to adults who are currently experiencing a severe mental illness and have a diagnosis identified in the disorder class schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, and who meet other specified criteria.
The bill would require the Counties of Glenn, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne and the City and County of San Francisco to implement the program commencing October 1, 2023, and the remaining counties to commence no later than December 1, 2024. The bill would require the Judicial Council to develop a mandatory form for use in filing a CARE process petition and would specify the process by which the petition is filed and reviewed, including requiring the petition to be signed under penalty of perjury, and to contain specified information, including the facts that support the petitioner’s assertion that the respondent meets the CARE criteria. The bill would also specify the schedule of review hearings required if the respondent is ordered to comply with an up to one-year CARE plan by the court.
The bill would make the hearings in a CARE Act proceeding confidential and not open to the public, thereby limiting public access to a meeting of a public body. The bill would authorize the CARE plan to be extended once, for up to one year, and would prescribe the requirements for the graduation plan. By expanding the crime of perjury and imposing additional duties on the county behavioral health agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would add a current or formerly homeless person with a developmental disability to the advisory committee.
2023 Legislative Session
The Legislature is scheduled to reconvene on December 5, 2022. Over the next few months, legislators will use their time to cultivate new legislative proposals for next year, meet with their constituents in the district, and participate in select committee hearings that deal with various topics, including homelessness.
Members of the Legislature will begin submitting language to legislative counsel and start introducing bills as early as November/December to engage next year’s Legislative process.