Proposed 2024 California Legislation Concerning Homelessness Continues to Advance

Next legislative steps will involve required actions by
policy, fiscal, and appropriations committees that may
further advance bills into, or stop bills from, becoming law

The final day for legislative bills to be introduced was February 16 for the 2024 Legislative Session. If the author of the draft bill is a Senator, the bill is introduced in the Senate; if the author is an Assembly Member, the bill is introduced in the Assembly. No bill may be acted upon until 30 days have passed from the date of its introduction.

Bills concerning homelessness that were introduced during February include those noted below. For a list of bills concerning homelessness that were introduced in January after the Legislature reconvened on January 3, see Proposed 2024 California Legislation Concerning Homelessness is Beginning to Advance. Also, a list of the bills introduced in January is provided at the end of this report. 

AB 2007 Homeless youth: transitional housing

This bill, until January 1, 2029, and upon appropriation by the Legislature for these purposes, would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to establish the Unicorn Homes Transitional Housing for Homeless LGBTQ+ Youth Program, to be administered by local community-based organizations that provide a majority of its services to the LGBTQ+ community. The bill would require the department to fund community-based organizations in up to 5 selected counties that provide transitional housing for LGBTQ+ youth, 18 to 24 years of age, inclusive, experiencing homelessness due to family rejection, with the ultimate goal of reunification with the youth’s original family. The bill would require the community-based organization to place eligible youth with volunteer host families who meet specified criteria, pursuant to the results of a background check, and who are able to provide crisis intervention with a trauma-informed approach, as defined, to their care. The bill would also require the program to comply with the existing core components of Housing First.

AB 2056 Homelessness spending portal

Existing law requires the Governor to create a California Interagency Council on Homelessness to serve as a statewide facilitator, coordinator, and policy development resource on ending homelessness in California, among other things. Existing law requires the council to create a statewide data system with a goal of matching data on homelessness to programs impacting homeless recipients of state programs.

On or before July 1, 2025, this bill would require the Department of Finance, in coordination with the council, to create a public internet website portal that tracks and reports all state spending related to homelessness, as specified.

AB 2137 Homeless and foster youth

Existing law requires the State Board of Education to adopt a template for a local control and accountability plan and an annual update to the local control and accountability plan for use by school districts, county boards of education, and charter schools. Existing law requires the template adopted by the state board to require the inclusion of certain information, including, among other things, instructions for school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to complete the local control and accountability plan and annual update to the plan, as specified.

This bill would require these instructions developed by the state board to require school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools with at least 15 homeless pupils to include in the local control and accountability plan or annual update to the plan specific actions to facilitate the enrollment, attendance, participation, retention, and educational success of homeless pupils. The bill would require the instructions to also require school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to include in the plan or update, if the number of homeless pupils identified is less than 10% of the number of pupils identified as eligible for free or reduced price meals, as specified, strategies for ensuring the accurate identification of homeless pupils. To the extent that implementation of the instructions developed by the state board pursuant to these provisions would impose additional duties on school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

AB 2207 State boards and commissions: representatives of older adults

This bill would expand the membership of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Advisory Committee, the California Health Workforce Education and Training Council, the California Workforce Development Board, the California Behavioral Health Planning Council, the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, and the Interagency Council on Homelessness to include the Executive Director of the California Commission on Aging, the Director of the California Department of Aging, or both, or other persons that serve or advocate for older adults, as specified. This bill would also modify the membership of an advisory committee to the Interagency Council on Homelessness to specifically include representatives from organizations that serve or advocate on behalf of older adults, among others.

AB 2498 Housing: the California Housing Security Act

Existing law establishes various programs, including, among others, the Emergency Housing and Assistance Program and the homeless youth emergency service pilot projects to provide assistance to homeless persons.

This bill would, upon appropriation of the Legislature, establish the California Housing Security Program to provide a housing subsidy to eligible persons, as specified, to reduce housing insecurity and help Californians meet their basic housing needs. To create the program, the bill would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to establish a 2-year pilot program in up to 4 counties, as specified. The bill would require the department to issue guidelines to establish the program that include, among other things, the amount of the subsidy that shall be the amount necessary to cover the portion of a person’s rent to prevent homelessness, but shall not exceed $2,000 per month. Under the bill, the subsidy would not be considered income for purposes of determining eligibility or benefits for any other public assistance program, nor would participation in other benefits exclude a person from eligibility for the subsidy. Under the bill, an undocumented person, as specified, who otherwise qualifies for the subsidy would be eligible for the subsidy. The bill would require the department to submit a report on the program to the Legislature, as described.

AB 2520 Housing: youth-specific coordinated entry systems

Existing law establishes the Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention Program, administered by the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, for the purpose of providing jurisdictions, as defined, with one-time grant funds to support regional coordination and expand or develop local capacity to address their immediate homelessness challenges, as specified.

This bill would require an applicant, upon appropriation and beginning with the 2024-25 fiscal year, to create and maintain a youth-specific coordinated entry system and an array of youth-specific housing inventory. The bill would require the coordinated entry system to include youth-specific access points and youth-centered assessment tools and prioritizations policies. The bill would require the applicant to document in their application how the housing assessment is youth-specific and their prioritization policy if the applicant states they already maintain a youth-specific coordinated entry system.

The bill would also make findings and declarations related to youth-specific programs and the Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention Program.

AB 2570 Department of Housing and Community Development: annual report: Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention program

Existing law establishes the Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention (HHAP) program for the purpose of providing jurisdictions, as defined, with one-time grant funds to support regional coordination and expand or develop local capacity to address their immediate homelessness challenges, as specified. Under existing law, grants under the HHAP program are allocated in 4 rounds of funding, administered by the Interagency Council on Homelessness, as provided.

Existing law requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to submit an annual report to the Governor and both houses of the Legislature on the operations and accomplishments during the previous fiscal year of the housing programs administered by the department. Existing law requires that the report include, among other things, the number of units assisted by those programs and the number of individuals and households served and their income level.

This bill would additionally require that this report include an evaluation of the HHAP program.

SB 1011 Encampments: penalties

This bill would prohibit a person from sitting, lying, sleeping, or storing, using, maintaining, or placing personal property upon a street or sidewalk if a homeless shelter, as defined, is available to the person. The bill would also prohibit sitting, lying, sleeping, or storing, using, maintaining, or placing personal property within 500 feet of a public or private school, open space, or major transit stop, as specified. The bill would specify that a violation of this prohibition is a public nuisance that can be abated and prevented, as specified. The bill would also provide that a violation of the prohibition may be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction, at the discretion of the prosecutor. The bill would prohibit a person from being found in violation of the bill’s provisions unless provided notice, at least 72 hours before commencement of any enforcement action, as specified. By imposing criminal penalties for a violation of these provisions, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Next Legislative Steps

Legislation concerning homelessness will continue to advance during the coming months. The legislative process includes meetings of the legislative policy and appropriations/fiscal committees and resolution of differences between the Assembly and Senate as the result of any amendments.

As part of the spring budget process, the Governor committed to working closely with the Legislature on additional funding to support local government responses to the homeless crisis. The spring budget process includes the “May revise,” which requires the Governor to issue an updated budget proposal by May 14, which could include additional funding to help solve homelessness.

The May Revision updates the governor’s economic and revenue outlook; adjusts the governor’s proposed expenditures to reflect revised estimates and assumptions; revises, supplements, or withdraws policy initiatives that were included in the governor’s proposed budget on January 10. The updates could result in the Governor and Legislature committing to additional funding for homelessness.

The Spring budget process will culminate on June 15 because the Legislature must pass a Budget Bill for the 2024-25 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The Budget Bill must be balanced. Lawmakers face penalties if they fail to pass the budget bill on or before June 15. The Governor must sign the bill before July 1. The Budget Bill could include additional funding to help carry out approved legislation concerning homelessness.

The last day for House policy committees to meet and report bills is July 3rd, which is also when the summer recess begins. When the Legislature reconvenes on August 5th, each House may pass bills until August 31st, which is also final recess upon adjournment. The last day for the Governor to approve or not approve bills is September 30th.

As in the past, the Legislature and Governor will not approve all the bills as they try to maximize policy and funding to increase results regarding homelessness prevention and ending unsheltered homelessness, which was the case during recent legislative sessions.

Most approved bills will go into effect on January 1, 2025, unless a different operative date is specified in a legislative bill.

_________________________

List of bills that were introduced after the Legislature reconvened on January 3 through January 31:

AB 1782 Redevelopment: successor agencies: Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Fund

AB 1788 Mental health multidisciplinary personnel team

AB 1801 Supportive housing: administrative office space

AB 1813 Senior Tenant Shallow Rental Subsidy Program of 2024: housing grants

AB 1818 Public postsecondary education: homeless students: parking

AB 1932 California Statewide Housing Plan

SB 7 The Homeless Housing Obligation Act

SB 26 Mental health professions: CARE Scholarship Program

SB 37 Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities Housing Stability Act

SB 402 Involuntary commitment

Leave a Comment