State Legislation Recap – What You Need To Know

Zak Franet December 7, 2021

Zak Franet is a Director at Ground Floor Public Affairs, a San Francisco based government relations and community outreach firm, who has supported the work of the All In Campaign since its launch. He also has lived experience with homelessness, having spent his early adulthood on the streets of Oakland, CA. Zak also serves on the Community Advisory Council for All Home CA, an organization dedicated to ending homelessness and promoting affordable housing throughout the Bay Area. 

Every day we make choices in our lives: where we want to eat for lunch, what music to listen to on our commute, how we choose to spend our free time. These choices, in turn, shape our perspectives and experiences; the aggregate sum of our collective choices influences our community, and the choices of our political leaders form the social constructs of our society. 

Sunday, October 10th, 2021, was the last day for Governor Newsom to sign laws which have been passed by the State legislature. For those of you who have been following the All In Campaign, you’ll know that this year saw a host of bills focused on tackling affordable housing and homelessness, many of which we have been tracking and monitoring closely. The bills the Governor signs, (or doesn’t), have the potential to dramatically improve our ability to prevent and solve homelessness.

Here’s a look at some of the bills the Governor signed (or didn’t) and what it means for people experiencing homelessness in our community.

Assembly Bill 816

AB 816, authored by our very own, then-Assemblymember, City Attorney David Chiu, requires that the state of California prioritizes its share of the Federal National Housing Trust fund grant to support projects for people experiencing homelessness. The National Housing Trust Fund is a federal program which provides funding to states to produce and preserve affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households. California has the highest rate of unsheltered homelessness of anywhere in the country, and on any given night, over 160,000 people will experience homelessness in the state. Sleeping outside greatly deteriorates physical and mental health and moving people off of the streets and into housing will literally save lives. Kudos to David Chiu!

Assembly Bill 362

At the All In Campaign we believe that the voice of those experiencing homelessness are integral to developing and implementing the policy solutions to solve homelessness. AB 362 requires local jurisdictions to investigate complaints by residents of shetlers. Truly uplifting the perspectives on those with lived experience extends to improving the delivery and provision of services and AB 362 does just that. 

Senate Bill 9 

SB 9 single handedly abolished single family zoning throughout the state by allowing any owner to subdivide their lot or build a duplex. The origin of single family zoning is deeply rooted in systemic racism as a policy tool to prevent integration and redline neighborhoods in order to prevent BIPOC folks from moving in. SB 9 is a step in the right direction to redress historical wrongs and accelerate the development of new housing.

Senate Bill 57

SB 57, authored by San Francisco State Senator Scott Wiener, unfortunately never even made it to the Governor’s desk. If passed, SB 57 would have paved the way to launch pilot Safe Consumption Sites (SCS) in the City and County of San Francisco, the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, and the City of Oakland. SCS facilities are a proven intervention to reduce overdose fatalities (none have been documented worldwide) and with an average of two San Franciscans dying each day from an overdose this program model is critical to saving lives. Senator Wiener is all but guaranteed to reintroduce this bill again during the next legislative cycle. 

What’s Next?

The California Legislature is on recess until January 3rd, 2022, and while this year we saw an unprecedented level of financial investment and policy solutions geared towards addressing homelessness throughout the state, rest assured these issues will continue to be top of mind during the next legislative cycle. 

Until then, you can continue to count on the All In Campaign to provide you and your networks with the most up-to-date information on our community’s efforts to end the homelessness crisis by ensuring everyone has a place to call home.