2013 California Policy Priorities
PRIORITY: Fund housing affordable to people experiencing homelessness
1. Create a permanent source of revenue for supportive housing through the California Homes & Jobs Act: Redevelopment dissolution, depletion of housing bond dollars, and cuts to federal funds left the affordable housing industry in crisis at a time of record poverty.
- The California Homes & Jobs Act, SB 391 (DeSaulnier), would dedicate resources from a document recording fee to the creation of affordable and supportive apartments. The legislation would generate about $500 million a year.
- Support the most critical bill in the Legislature this year--and CSH's number 1 priority--with CSH's SB 391 Sample Letter.
2. Ensure voter-approved bonds address true housing needs of veterans: Voter-approved housing bonds for veterans home loans are not serving veterans. Yet, veterans face high rents and low wages, and frequently face homelessness.
- Support AB 639, the Veterans Housing & Homeless Prevention Act, a CSH-sponsored bill allowing voters to create affordable and supportive apartments for veterans by repurposing $600 million in housing bonds that were originally allocated for a veterans home loan program that goes unused. The bill would create more resources to reduce and eventually end homelessness among veterans.
- Use CSH's AB 639 Sample Letter to support.
PRIORITY: Fund services in supportive housing to ensure housing stability
3. Use Medi-Cal to improve care and decrease costs among vulnerable populations: People who frequently use hospitals for avoidable reasons face multiple barriers in navigating care, including homelessness.
- AB 361 (Mitchell), a CSH-sponsored bill, would take advantage of an Affordable Care Act option that offers states 90% federal funding for “health home” services: case management, outreach, engagement, and other services homeless people need to access and maintain housing stability. As the Fact Sheet explains, AB 361 authorizes California to use the ACA option, while ensuring California’s most vulnerable populations—people experiencing chronic homelessness and frequent hospital users—can access these critical services.
- Support this bill with CSH's Sample Letter.
4. Advance health plan funding for supportive housing: As California moves toward managing Medi-Cal beneficiaries’ care through health plans, CSH is working to ensure homeless and formerly homeless enrollees receive services they need to get and stay healthy.
- Learn more about working with managed care health plans in your community by contacting CSH.
PRIORITY: Ensure existing funds are used effectively for people with the greatest need
5. Foster collaboration among state agencies: California could be investing existing resources more effectively by increasing collaboration and taking advantage of federal funding.
- Support AB 998 (Fong), to create an interagency council on homelessness in California. CSH continues to advocate for a California ICH to to access federal funding and use scarce existing resources to prevent and end homelessness. AB 998 would create an ICH in California, supporting and continuing the work of California’s Policy Academy to foster collaboration among state agencies to end homelessness.
Contact Sharon Rapport, Assoc. Director, California Policy, or call (213) 623-4342, ext. 18.