Legislative UPDATES

Key Homelessness Policies

Like any issue we face as a nation, we need—and there are—solutions proposed and enacted on the local, state, and federal levels. While we at All In are focused on San Francisco, we know advocates for solutions to homelessness may want a view of what’s happening on other levels.

The primary investment in solutions to homelessness comes at the local/city level, followed by the federal government, then the state. That’s why we concentrate on what’s happening in San Francisco, especially through the Prop C funds and the recommendations from the Our City Our Home Committee on how those resources should be spent.

We’ll be updating this page regularly and sharing additional resources where needed.

At the core of the city’s solutions to homelessness lies the budget. Proposed by the Mayor and passed by the Board of Supervisors, the City’s budget dictates how resources are allocated to  provide housing, services, healthcare, and the many other facets required to respond to homelessness.

This year, following the passage of Prop C, the mayor’s budget on homelessness mostly followed the recommendations of the Our City, Our Home Committee. Learn more about these recommendations through our Blog Series: Funding Solutions to Homelessness

 

California accounts for 27% of all unhoused people in the United States, and more than half of those people are unsheltered. As a state, we have the means to lead f in developing solutions to homelessness. State policy influences what we do at the local level, to create permanent exits from homelessness.

AB 816

Why you should know about it: AB-816 would increase transparency and government accountability, as well as mandate that local jurisdictions and the state play an increased role in addressing homelessness within their community.

Summary: AB-816 would require the CA Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) to conduct a statewide needs and gaps analysis and collaboratively set benchmark goals for each local agency or city in addressing homelessness within their community.

The bill would also create a state Housing and Homelessness Inspector General who would have the authority to bring action against the state, local agencies, or cities that fail to adopt a plan or make progress towards achieving their plan within a reasonable time frame. 

Status: Hearing at Senate Committee on Housing on 7/1

 

SB 344

Why you should know about it: People experiencing homelessness forge strong bonds with their companion animals, but most shelters do not accept pets. This bill would change that and allow our unhoused neighbors to keep their animal with them.

Summary: This bill would require the department to develop and administer a program to award grants to qualified homeless shelters, as described, for the provision of shelter, food, and basic veterinary services for pets owned by people experiencing homelessness. While limited in its impact, this bill is built on the data points demonstrating increased willingness to participate in services when they do not have to give up their pets.

Status: 7/12 Hearing at Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development

 

SB 57

Why you should know about it: SB-57 would further promote harm reduction policies aligned with public health best practices which would save lives, and potentially mitigate impacts on “open air” drug use.

Summary: This bill would authorize San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles County to operate overdose prevention programs (commonly known as Safe Injection Sites). 

Status: Passed Senate. Referred to Assembly Committee on Health and Public Safety pending hearing date.

 

AB 362

Why you should know about it: AB 362 would increase the quality of life for individuals in our shelter response system by creating and implementing uniform health and safety standards.

Summary: This bill would establish minimum health and safety standards for homeless shelters, as defined, including, but not limited to, minimum standards for homeless shelter maintenance, interior air quality, sleeping rooms, and laundries. The bill would require the housing, building, or health department of a local agency to serve as the enforcement agency and enforce the minimum health and safety standards within their jurisdiction, unless the local agency enters an agreement with theDepartment of Housing and Community Development to enforce those standards.

Status: 7/8 Hearing at Senate Committee on Housing

 

AB 369

Why you should know about it: AB 369 would remove barriers to healthcare for people experiencing homelessness by allowing them to self certify as being unhoused, which would qualify them to receive Medi-Cal. In addition, this bill would also waive other barriers, including the need to present a Photo ID.

Summary: This bill would require the Department of Health Care Services to implement a program of presumptive eligibility for persons experiencing homelessness, under which a person would receive full-scope Medi-Cal benefits without a share of cost.

The bill would require the department to authorize an enrolled Medi-Cal provider to issue a temporary Medi-Cal benefits identification card to a person experiencing homelessness, and would prohibit the department from requiring a person experiencing homelessness to present a valid California driver’s license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to receive Medi-Cal services if the provider verifies the person’s eligibility.

The bill would require the insurance affordability program’s paper application to include a check box, and electronic application to include a pull-down menu, for an applicant to indicate if they are experiencing homelessness at the time of application.

Status: 7/7 Hearing at Senate Committee on Health

 

AB 977

Why you should know about it: AB 977 would require that organizations that receive funding from the State to provide more detailed data and reporting metrics, increasing transparency for the public and government decision makers.

Summary: This bill would require, on or before July 1, 2022, that a grantee or entity operating specified state homelessness programs, including the No Place Like Home Program, as a condition of receiving state funds, to enter the collected data elements on the individuals and families it serves into its local Homeless Management Information System, unless otherwise exempted by state or federal law.

The bill would require the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to specify the form and substance of the required data elements. The bill would apply the data entry requirements to all new state homelessness programs that commence on or after July 1, 2022.

Status: 7/8 Hearing at Senate Committee on Housing

 

AB 1043

Why you should know about it: AB 1043 would create a new income threshold in affordable housing and Below Market Rate developments. This would allow for a more deeply affordable housing product which would support the needs of Extremely Low Income households who today are greatly limited by the housing stock which is accessible to them, and are at an increased risk of experiencing homelessness in the future.

Summary: This bill, for leases entered into on or after January 1, 2022, would additionally prohibit “affordable rent” for certain rental housing developments that receive assistance from exceeding the product of 30 percent times 15 percent of the area median income adjusted for family size appropriate for the unit if the housing is for “persons at risk of homelessness,” as defined to mean persons and families whose incomes do not exceed 15 percent of area median income, adjusted for family size, as specified.

Status: 7/1 Hearing at Senate Committee on Housing

 

SB 739

Why you should know about it: Youth exiting the foster care system are at an increased risk of experiencing homelessness as a young adult. By providing youth with the resources they need to achieve their early adulthood goals, SB 739 will help swim upstream by preventing young people from entering into homelessness to begin with.

Summary: This bill, subject to an appropriation, would create a Universal Basic Income program for foster youth exiting the system. This program would provide each youth with $1,000 a month for three years after emancipating from the system.

Status: 6/30 Hearing at Assembly Committee on Human Services

 

The federal government has developed frameworks and strategies that promote solutions to homelessness that can be implemented in communities across the country.  The current administration has recommended historic investments in housing that have the potential to create deep impact at scale.

S. 220

Summary: The bill would authorize $800 million to be awarded competitively by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to enable local agencies and organizations, including local educational agencies, to assist children, youth, families, single pregnant women, and survivors of dating violence, domestic violence and trafficking impacted by homelessness and insecure housing during the COVID-19 crisis.

Status: Pending Committee Hearings (Health, Education, Labor, Pensions)

Learn more, here.

 

SIGN THE ALL IN PLEDGE

We need long term solutions that last beyond current and most immediate crisis. Solutions to homelessness start with all of us.

Tell City Leadership You’re All In: “I support stable homes and services in my neighborhood and across San Francisco because I want my neighbors experiencing homelessness to get—and stay—housed.”