Gov. Gavin Newsom this week signed the largest funding and reform package for housing and homelessness in California history as part of the $100 billion California Comeback Plan. The package includes $10.3 billion for affordable housing and $12 billion over two years towards tackling the homelessness crisis head-on.
The new homelessness funding includes $5.8 billion to add 42,000 new housing units through Homekey – a national model for homeless housing. $3 billion of this investment is dedicated to housing for people with the most acute behavioral and physical health needs. Newsom’s investment is the biggest expansion in decades in terms of clinically enhanced behavioral health housing in California.
“I don’t think homelessness can be solved – I know homelessness can be solved,” Newsom said. “We are going all-in with innovative solutions that we know work – with a focus on creating housing to support people with severe mental health challenges, and with more money than ever to move people out of encampments and into safer situations. With record investments tied to strong accountability and efficiency measures, California will continue to build on the groundbreaking success of Homekey, changing the lives of tens of thousands of Californians for the better and supporting communities across the state.”
The legislation, AB 140, also includes $2 billion in aid to counties, large cities and Continuums of Care through the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention grant program (HHAP). To qualify, recipients must follow strict accountability measures and submit a local homelessness action plan that includes quantifiable, data-driven goals that jurisdictions must commit to meeting.
Among the items are:
$10.3 Billion Affordable Housing Package
• $850 million incentivizing infill development and smart growth
• $800 million to preserve the state’s affordable housing stock
• $100 million promoting affordable homeownership
• Additional funding to scale up the state’s efforts to create more Accessory Dwelling Units, build more housing on state-owned excess land and invest in farmworker housing
• $12 Billion Over Two Years to Confront Homelessness Crisis
• $5.8 billion for Homekey over two years, creating more than 42,000 new homeless housing units
• $2.75 billion for the Department of Housing and Community Development
• $3 billion for the Health and Human Services Agency to create clinically enriched behavioral health housing and funding for the renovation and acquisition of Board and Care Facilities and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly.
• $2 billion in HHAP grants over two years with strong, new accountability requirements for local governments
• $1.75 billion to unlock up to 7,200 units of housing in the pipeline for extremely low-income families and people exiting homelessness
• $150 million to stabilize participants in Project Roomkey hotels
• $50.6 million for encampment resolution efforts
• $45 million for services and housing for homeless veterans
In addition to these investments addressing homelessness and housing affordability, the California Comeback Plan includes $1.1 billion to clean up the streets of California by partnering with local governments to pick up trash and beautify downtowns, freeways and neighborhoods across California. The program is expected to generate up to 11,000 jobs over three years.