Calif. Health and Safety Code §53590, 53591, 53592, 53593, 53594, 53595, 53596, 53597, 53598, 53599
Added by A. B. 74
Effective date: January 1, 2018

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will establish the Housing for a Healthy California Program on or before January 1, 2019 to create supportive housing for homeless populations. This housing may be created through grants awarded to counties on a competitive basis, dependent on the county’s:

  • need;
  • ability to administer operating assistance for supportive housing;
  • documented partnerships with affordable housing providers;
  • commitment to addressing the needs of homeless populations;
  • coordination with community-based housing and homeless service providers, behavioral health providers, and safety net providers, including community health centers; and
  • preferences or set asides for relevant housing populations, including those who are:
    • chronically homeless;
    • Medi-Cal beneficiaries;
    • eligible for Supplemental Security Income;
    • eligible to receive housing stability services; and
    • likely to improve their health conditions with supportive housing.

Housing may also be created through operating reserve grants and capital loans to developers.

The DHCD is also required to:

  • submit federal Housing Trust Fund allocation plans to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on or before August 31, 2018, and on or before that date for the next three years;
  • collect data from counties and developers awarded funding both midyear and annually, including:
    • data determined by the DHCD to be necessary in measuring costs and outcomes of the program;
    • the number of participants and the type of interventions offered through grant funds;
    • the number of participants living in supportive housing or other permanent housing; and
    • data on the impact of the program on participants’ use of corrections systems and law enforcement resources;
  • determine changes in health care costs and costs associated with program services and housing no later than October 1, 2020; and
  • report data to the Assembly Committee on Budget, the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, the Assembly and Senate Committees on Health, the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development and the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing on or before January 1, 2024.

A county is eligible for a program grant when it:

  • identifies a source of funding for housing stability services;
  • agrees to contribute funding for projects assisted through federal Housing Trust Fund grants;
  • designates a process for administering grant funds through housing agencies; and
  • agrees to collect and report data to the DHCD.

Grant funds are to be used for the following purposes:

  • acquisition funding, new construction or reconstruction and rehabilitation;
  • county administrative costs of at least 5% of the total grant; and
  • project-based operating assistance, which may include:
    • rental assistance for up to five years; and
    • a capitalized operating reserve for at least 15 years to pay for operating costs to provide supportive housing.

The DHCD may implement the program with federal Housing Trust Fund allocations and any other revenue appropriated to the DHCD for the purpose of the program. The DHCD will reimburse the State Department of Health Care Services for the costs of collaborating in matching and providing relevant data.

The legislature is to consider the impact that supportive housing has had in changing costs of health care.

Any guidelines related to the program do not need to be reviewed by the Office of Administrative Law.

Read more:

Read the bill text.

Editor’s note — first tuesday has published a number of pieces relating to homelessness in California herehere and here. The Housing for a Healthy California Program aims to tackle some of the issues these articles address.