Oxnard, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The Vagabond Inn in Oxnard could soon transition from an affordable hotel option to permanent supportive housing for 70 of the county’s homeless residents, thanks to a state funding effort that aims to house California’s most vulnerable homeless individuals….. The Vagabond Inn is under consideration for funding under Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s efforts to protect homeless residents who are high-risk for COVID-19. In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $600 million in funding for cities and counties to convert motels, hotels and other housing types into permanent housing…..  “This is an opportunity that allows us to both respond to COVID-19 and respond to homelessness and the long-term need to provide housing,” said Oxnard Housing Director Emilio Ramirez…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
Paso Robles, CA – Sept. 2, 2020      The temporary camping facility for homeless residents has been operational at the Borkey Flats site for a few weeks. The site has restrooms, showers, and a safe needle exchange program, and a safe parking area….. The City’s Community Action Team (CAT) has been visiting homeless encampments in the riverbed. They have visited 15-20 camps and informed individuals of the new camping site and of the city’s intent to clean up the riverbed to mitigate fire risk and protect water quality…… To date, three encampments have been cleaned up of all debris and waste products. The camping site has not seen high levels of utilization to date, but the city has seen a drop in fire activity since the CAT team has been active and cleanup has begun….. The city will need to move the Borkey Flats encampment in the winter given that it is in the flood plain, and continues to work with homeless service provider partners to identify long-term solutions…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER    …..     …..
Stanton, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The County of Orange and Jamboree Housing Corporation submitted three applications as co-applicants and in partnership with the City of Stanton under the State Homekey program, all located in the City of Stanton, for a total request of $28.1 million in funding…..   The County recently received word that the State reserved funding for both The Tahiti Motel and Stanton Inn and Suites applications….. Two of the motels identified for funds in the City of Stanton include The Stanton Inn and Suites, on Katella Avenue and the Tahiti Motel, on Beach Boulevard. A third motel is in negotiation with the motel owner, they say. By the end of the project, 132 new affordable homes will be available for those experiencing homelessness.   Although this does not yet represent an award from the State, it is one step closer to securing funding to make the Homekey program work…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..     …..  
Sacramento, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Gov. Newsom said Wednesday that California is making an “unprecedented” effort to address homelessness, two days after lawmakers failed to pass a bill to massively increase housing production….. The governor said the state has placed more than 22,000 homeless Californians in 16,400 hotel and motel rooms amid the pandemic, and is giving cities and counties $600 million to purchase the rooms and convert them into permanent housing….. Local governments also got another $628 million in emergency homelessness aid….. “It’s self-evident that this has to be our top priority and it is,” said Newsom……   A bill heading to Newsom’s desk would create a state Office to End Homelessness, led by a new “homelessness czar.” But the governor said Wednesday he already has a homelessness czar — a seemingly fluid title, given that he’s used it to refer to six people in the past two years, including himself……      HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..
San Francisco, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Bay Area universities and homeless advocates released a report on Thursday revealing the various barriers homeless San Franciscans face when accessing housing…..  The report’s authors, the Coalition on Homelessness and researchers with the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University surveyed 600 temporarily housed San Franciscans, with a focus on transgender people …..  Participants revealed inequities that homeless transgender people face to obtain housing, poor shelter conditions, crowded living spaces and strict curfews, created even more barriers to housing. Fifty-eight percent of participants said they would prefer a legal homeless camp with basic amenities like showers and toilets while 34 percent reported having substance abuse issues…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
Oxnard, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The Vagabond Inn in Oxnard could soon transition from an affordable hotel option to permanent supportive housing for 70 of the county’s homeless residents, thanks to a state funding effort that aims to house California’s most vulnerable homeless individuals….. The Vagabond Inn is under consideration for funding under Project Homekey, the next phase in the state’s efforts to protect homeless residents who are high-risk for COVID-19. In July, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $600 million in funding for cities and counties to convert motels, hotels and other housing types into permanent housing…..  “This is an opportunity that allows us to both respond to COVID-19 and respond to homelessness and the long-term need to provide housing,” said Oxnard Housing Director Emilio Ramirez…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..
Stanton, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     The County of Orange and Jamboree Housing Corporation submitted three applications as co-applicants and in partnership with the City of Stanton under the State Homekey program, all located in the City of Stanton, for a total request of $28.1 million in funding…..   The County recently received word that the State reserved funding for both The Tahiti Motel and Stanton Inn and Suites applications….. Two of the motels identified for funds in the City of Stanton include The Stanton Inn and Suites, on Katella Avenue and the Tahiti Motel, on Beach Boulevard. A third motel is in negotiation with the motel owner, they say. By the end of the project, 132 new affordable homes will be available for those experiencing homelessness.   Although this does not yet represent an award from the State, it is one step closer to securing funding to make the Homekey program work…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..     …..  
Sacramento, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Gov. Newsom said Wednesday that California is making an “unprecedented” effort to address homelessness, two days after lawmakers failed to pass a bill to massively increase housing production….. The governor said the state has placed more than 22,000 homeless Californians in 16,400 hotel and motel rooms amid the pandemic, and is giving cities and counties $600 million to purchase the rooms and convert them into permanent housing….. Local governments also got another $628 million in emergency homelessness aid….. “It’s self-evident that this has to be our top priority and it is,” said Newsom……   A bill heading to Newsom’s desk would create a state Office to End Homelessness, led by a new “homelessness czar.” But the governor said Wednesday he already has a homelessness czar — a seemingly fluid title, given that he’s used it to refer to six people in the past two years, including himself……      HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER…..     …..
Paso Robles, CA – Sept. 2, 2020      The temporary camping facility for homeless residents has been operational at the Borkey Flats site for a few weeks. The site has restrooms, showers, and a safe needle exchange program, and a safe parking area….. The City’s Community Action Team (CAT) has been visiting homeless encampments in the riverbed. They have visited 15-20 camps and informed individuals of the new camping site and of the city’s intent to clean up the riverbed to mitigate fire risk and protect water quality…… To date, three encampments have been cleaned up of all debris and waste products. The camping site has not seen high levels of utilization to date, but the city has seen a drop in fire activity since the CAT team has been active and cleanup has begun….. The city will need to move the Borkey Flats encampment in the winter given that it is in the flood plain, and continues to work with homeless service provider partners to identify long-term solutions…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER    …..     …..
San Francisco, CA – Sept. 3, 2020     Bay Area universities and homeless advocates released a report on Thursday revealing the various barriers homeless San Franciscans face when accessing housing…..  The report’s authors, the Coalition on Homelessness and researchers with the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University surveyed 600 temporarily housed San Franciscans, with a focus on transgender people …..  Participants revealed inequities that homeless transgender people face to obtain housing, poor shelter conditions, crowded living spaces and strict curfews, created even more barriers to housing. Fifty-eight percent of participants said they would prefer a legal homeless camp with basic amenities like showers and toilets while 34 percent reported having substance abuse issues…..     HOMELESS PERSPECTIVE CALIFORNIA TICKER     …..     …..

California’s Hottest Housing Bill Moves Ahead – With A Break For Smaller Counties

An SB 50 Update

Shot of construction workers working on a girder of a prefab home, focus on foreground.

By: Matt Levin
April 24, 2019 —

A controversial bill that would force California cities to allow denser housing around public transit cleared a major hurdle today, but only after its sponsor agreed to go easier on smaller-sized counties.

Senate Bill 50, from Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, passed out of a key legislative committee after it was amended to take a softer approach to counties of less than 600,000 people.

While the bill still faces fierce political opposition and a long road ahead in the state Legislature, the vote marks a significant victory for Wiener’s move to promote more dense housing around transit—an approach he says is necessary to help alleviate the state’s housing shortage and curb greenhouse gas emissions from commuters.

Originally, the bill would have required all California neighborhoods within a half-mile of a major public transit stop to allow apartment buildings four to five stories tall. No longer would cities be able to restrict zoning around transit to exclusively single-family homes, for example.

“We know what we need to do,” Wiener said at today’s hearing, in a Capitol hearing room overflowing with advocates on both sides of  the issue. “You can have all the funding for affordable housing in the world and all the streamlining in the world, but if you don’t have zoning changes, it’s all for naught.”

The original provision would still apply to the 15 most populous California  counties, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Joaquin counties. “Jobs-rich” communities not within a half-mile of public transportation would also have to change local zoning laws to allow for taller buildings.

But under the new compromise, smaller counties—including those with expensive real estate markets such as Marin, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo—would be treated differently.

Most cities in those smaller counties would be forced to allow housing near public transit that’s slightly more dense than what’s currently allowed, but not 4-5 stories. They also would also be required to approve duplexes, triplexes and four-plexes “by right” in almost all neighborhoods, allowing developers to bypass the often lengthy and costly process of getting small housing projects approved by local planning commissions and city councils.

The new provisions for smaller counties incorporate elements of what was a rival plan from Sen. Mike McGuire, Democrat from Healdsburg,  who chairs the Senate Governance and Finance committee that held today’s vote.

“A blanket one-size-fits-all approach simply does not work for every community here in California,” said McGuire, whose district includes famously anti-development Marin County.

Advocates for Wiener’s bill point out that even the weaker density requirements on smaller counties could lead to a substantial boost to new housing—and that the “four-plex” provision in particular means an end to neighborhoods zoned exclusively for single-family homes. The city of Minneapolis made national headlines for a similar law last year.

Today’s vote is a noteworthy victory for Wiener, whose try at similar legislation last year failed to advance this far.

Several politically influential groups that opposed last year’s legislation are now on board, or at least aren’t explicitly opposed. Construction labor unions have thrown their weight behind the bill, while several housing equity groups concerned about the bill’s potential to gentrify lower-income neighborhoods are still negotiating with Wiener.

But California cities up and down the state still view SB 50 as an unprecedented encroachment on local control over housing decisions. While the most fierce opposition has come from smaller municipalities, the Los Angeles City Counciland San Francisco Board of Supervisors have  adopted resolutions opposing the bill.

“It’s not one-size-fits-all, its two-sizes-fits-all,” said David Reyes, a Pasadena city planner testifying against the bill even as amended. He warned that the state can expect cities to sue to block Wiener’s bill if it becomes law.

Some tenant rights and anti-gentrification groups, including those affiliated with the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, testified against the bill today. A controversial flyer from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation sent to San Francisco households compared SB 50 to the “urban renewal” programs of the mid-20th century, invoking the image of African-American author James Baldwin, who called such programs “Negro removal.”

“Frankly, we have too many deep concerns about SB 50’s impacts, even with the amendments on low-income communities of color, to support it,” testified Shanti Singh of Tenants Together.

Sen. Jim Beall, a Democrat from San Jose who opposed Wiener’s legislation last year, said his support for the bill this year was conditioned on passage of a broader housing package, which would include new funding sources for low-income housing and more tenant protections.

“If there’s not a package we’ll continue to have  conflicts,” said Beall.

Even if the bill were to pass the Legislature, it’s unclear whether Gov. Gavin Newsom would sign it. Newsom has floated several proposals aimed at reaching his goal of 3.5 million new California homes by 2025, but has balked at publicly supporting SB 50.

This article courtesy of CALmatters


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More articles for you —

State Legislators Seek to Regulate Local Decisions Regarding Inclusive Zoning and Affordable Housing

SB 50: Inside the Political Fight Over How to Handle California’s Housing Crisis

Zoning the “Ultimate Constraint” to Housing in California

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