What’s in the California State Budget 2018-19 for Homelessness? It Contains the Largest Affordable Housing and Homelessness Budget to Date

The following table is from page 118 of the California State Budget 2018-19, which lists the programs and their budgeted funds as the “Homelessness Response in the 2018-19 Budget.” Also noted is whether the funds are ongoing or one-time.

A description of each of the programs follows the table that consists of information provided in other parts of the 2018-19 Budget and other sources when appropriate. The descriptions below note the eligible activities for each of the programs.

Figure SWE-01
Homelessness Response in the 2018-19 Budget
(Dollars in Millions)

Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council Emergency Homeless Aid Block Grants $500.0 –
Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council Administration $0.5
CalWorks Housing Support Program $24.2
Department of Social Services CalWorks Homeless Assistance Program $8.1
Senior Home Safe Program $15.0
Office of Emergency Services Domestic Violence Shelters and Services $10.0
Homeless Youth and Exploitation Program $1.0
Department of Health Care Services Homeless and Mental Illness Program $50.0
Total $608.8

1. Homeless Emergency Aid Program ($500 million)

As noted on page 119 of the 2018-19 budget,

“To assist local governments in addressing immediate homeless needs until additional resources become available, the Budget provides:

• $500 million for a Homeless Emergency Aid program for bridge funding to assist local governments in addressing immediate homeless needs. This program provides flexible block grant funds to jurisdictions that declare a shelter crisis and commit to local coordination. Of these funds, $350 million will be distributed through Continuums of Care and $150 million will be distributed directly to cities with populations greater than 330,000.

Urban Initiatives released a report entitled Piecing Together the California Homeless Emergency Aid Program, which provides additional information.

2. Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council ($500,000)

Page 119 of the 2018-19 budget noted that

“Given the many state resources that will be available in the coming years, the Budget includes $500,000 ongoing to expand the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council and move it to the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. The Council will provide statewide guidance on homelessness issues and develop a statewide plan to support the coordination of the various state homelessness investments.”

The California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency is in the process of hiring an Executive Officer who will be “responsible for managing staff resources in support of the directions from the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council comprised of 17 appointees.” The Executive Officer “will lead the strategy, planning and resourcing efforts and will ultimately be responsible for achieving various statutory goals,” according to the job posting. One statutory responsibility will be “developing, implementing and closing down the one-time Homeless Emergency Aid Program.”

3. CalWORKs Housing Support Program ($24.2 million)

The 2018-19 budget, as noted on page 51, provided an increase of $24.2 million in 2018-19 for the CalWORKs Housing Support Program for CalWORKs families.

The program follows core components of a Rapid Re-Housing program by helping CalWORKs families quickly obtain permanent housing by offering financial assistance and wrap-around supportive services to foster housing retention. The program allows flexibility regarding support, which includes partnerships with landlords, move-in assistance, temporary rental subsidies, financial counseling, credit repair and intensive case management.

The program was created by SB 855 Human Services, which was approved by the Governor on June 20, 2014.

4. CalWORKs Homeless Assistance Program ($8.1 million)

The 2018-19 budget, as noted on page 51, provided an increase of $8.1 million in 2018-19 for the CalWORKs Homeless Assistance Program for CalWORKs families and $15.3 million annually thereafter.

Eligible families receive temporary assistance for a shelter or hotel/motel. While receiving the assistance, families are required to search for permanent housing. Once permanent housing is located, families may be eligible to receive assistance with the security deposit, which may include last month’s rent, and assistance with the utility deposit, if required. For recipients facing eviction, families may receive up to two months of rent arrearages.

5. Senior Home Safe Program ($15 million)

As noted on page 51 of the 2018-19 budget, there will be

“one-time funding of $15 million General Fund to establish a three-year pilot program, with local matching funds, designed to provide housing-related supports to seniors experiencing or at risk of homelessness.”

6. Office of Emergency Services ($11 million)

Also, “To assist local governments in addressing immediate homeless needs until additional resources become available, the 2018-19 budget included, as noted on page 119

“$11 million for the California Office of Emergency Services to fund programs focusing on homeless youth and victims of domestic violence.”

  • Domestic Violence Shelters and Services ($10 million)

One of three units that oversee its Victim Services Programs is the Domestic Violence Unit, which includes a Domestic Violence Housing First (XD) Program, Domestic Violence Response Team (VA) Program, and a Domestic Violence Assistance (DV) Program.

http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/grants-management/criminal-justice-emergency-management-victim-services-grant-programs/victim-services-programs

  • Homeless Youth and Exploitation Program ($1 million)

Office of Emergency Services released a Request for Applications (RFA) on June 29 for the HX Program, which

“is a comprehensive program to help homeless youth exit street life. Services provided under the HX Program include: access to food, shelter/housing; counseling, outreach services, screening/providing for basic health needs; linkage to other services offered by public and private agencies; long-term stabilization planning.; and follow-up services. In addition, the Program provides specialized services for youth involved in sexual exploitation activities.”

http://www.caloes.ca.gov/pages/Grant-Details.aspx?itemID=209&ItemTitle=2018-19%20Homeless%20Youth%20and%20Exploitation%20(HX)%20Program%20RFA

7. Homeless Mentally Ill Outreach and Treatment ($50 million)

Also, “To assist local governments in addressing immediate homeless needs until additional resources become available, the 2018-19 budget included, as noted on page 119

“a one-time augmentation of $50 million for the Department of Health Care Services to provide counties with targeted funding for multi-disciplinary teams to provide intensive outreach, treatment and related services for homeless persons with mental illness. This type of intervention is expected to result in earlier identification of mental health needs, prevention of criminal justice involvement, and better coordination of care for this population at the local level.”

In summary of the “Homelessness Response in the 2018-19 Budget,” the following was noted on page 118

“In recognition of the longer time frame that these recent investments and policies require to take effect, and the immediate homelessness challenges facing local jurisdictions, the Budget includes $609 million one-time General Fund and $64 million ongoing General Fund (see Figure SWE-01) to focus state homelessness funding on planning, prevention, and emergency aid.”

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